March 20, 2013

Two Ways TestTrack Can Help Telecommuters and Remote Workers Collaborate

Requirements Management
Application Lifecycle Management

With all of the hubbub around Yahoo's announcement to "ban" telecommuting, I thought it might be a good time to highlight some recent customer feedback we've gotten on this issue. A new initiative I've been leading is engaging with our customers to talk about their corporate strategies and challenges, which we're feeding into the Seapine roadmap to make sure we're better aligned with where our customers are heading. Of course, we're also looking at new and better places to take our customers, that they might not have considered or even knew they would benefit from. P.S. If you want to talk with me and the rest of the corporate strategy team, we'd love to chat for 20 minutes; email me! We don't specifically ask about telecommuting, but every customer we've talked to over the past few months has multiple locations spread out across the globe. And one question we always ask is how those locations interact with one another. Is each location an autonomous team, or are teams built from folks in multiple locations? Without fail, our customers are piecing together teams from multiple locations based on the skills and experience needed to complete a project. Here's how those teams are using TestTrack to collaborate.

Requirement Development and Review

I'm not even sure Microsoft Word works for co-located teams, but we know from talking with our customers that it definitely does not work for distributed teams. Building product requirements is a group effort, and emailing Word documents quickly becomes a train wreck. Our customers typically begin to look at TestTrack RM after a couple failed requirement development cycles. A document or update gets lost in someone's in box, multiple people update the same document and overwrite each others work, or a critical stakeholder spends half a day reviewing an out-of-date requirements document. TestTrack RM provides a centralized repository for all requirements, and acts as the single source of truth when it comes time for requirement reviews. To further improve this process, we launched the TestTrack RM Reviewer product which is a light-weight web client with cost-effective licensing to get your stakeholders and project sponsors into a centralized review process.

Project and Schedule Visibility

Managing project status and ensuring everything stays on schedule is a big endeavor for any team larger than about 2 people. I know many a project manager who has nightmares from time spent tracking down and cajoling everyone on the team to provide progress reports. The new matrix reports in TestTrack have been getting rave reviews in helping people better understand requirements and test coverage status to quickly identify areas that need attention. Of course, there are also workflow and automated notification capabilities within TestTrack that handle communicating change to relevant team members. [caption id="attachment_12629" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Quickly view requirement and test coverage, with associated issues[/caption] Whether you allow your employees to telecommute or not, remote workers are a fact of life for many teams these days. Make sure you have the tools in place to help those teams work effectively.