Bruce Kovalsky, Capgemini
Many test organizations purchase a defect tracking tool (e.g., Quality Center, ClearQuest, Bugzilla) to report, track and manage workflow on defects only. This paper will show those who are defect tool administrators how to expand the usage of the tool for managing workflow for many other types of work items, such as features, issues and change requests, so that the entire organization (development, project management office) can fully utilize the investment made in the tool.
Defect tools generally provide a “standard” defect workflow, such as New -> Assigned -> Resolved -> Verified -> Closed. Many organizations use this standard workflow for defects successfully, but do not realize that workflow for defects can be customized to use different workflow statuses than the standard workflow (e.g., Deferred, NeedsInfo, Cancelled), as well as customizing the tool to mange workflow for several other types of work item types. Once these work items are stored in the tool, they can be easily searched and updated by everyone that has access to the tool; and update access can be configured to limit access to certain teams or individuals.
This paper will show organizations how to customize their defect tracking tools to support other types of workflow, such as:
- Features – These are software development workflow items. The development team needs a way to manage their workflow in order to tell when the code is delivered for a given sprint or build, as well as how to track progress of both current and future releases.
- Issues – Many development organizations need a forum to ask business analysts and development leads technical questions, or to address blocking issues on how to develop and implement their code. Questions sent by email are often buried or forgotten about, but tracking these in the tool allows the issues to be formalized, then the entire development organization gains the value of having the resolutions documented in a database.
- Change Requests – Also known as CR’s, these are different than defects since they are tracking a change to the design or requirements and need to be tracked separately from Defects. The Project Management Office (PMO) typically needs to know the status of these on a regular basis.
- Database Revision Requests – Many Database Administrators (DBAs) get requests to make database revisions. The whole team can get current information about these requests without having to find them in email, as well as having up-to-the minute status readily available.
I have found that a small investment up front, by customizing workflow for the work items that your organization needs managed, can pay off in big ways by providing the entire organization with the ability to search for current status, history of the work done and visibility into the work planned to be done