November 2, 2009

Complete Traceability with TestTrack

Helix ALM
We recently released a new requirements management product, TestTrack RM. The early feedback on the product has been great. TestTrack RM is proving to be a valuable addition to the TestTrack family, which also includes TestTrack Pro (defect management) and TestTrack TCM (test case management). While TestTrack RM provides many benefits on its own, the real power comes when it is used as an integrated solution with the other TestTrack applications. For example, you can easily determine if you have proper test coverage by ensuring that a test case has been created for every requirement. You can easily flag a test case if a requirement has changed, avoiding testing stale data and wasting time and money. For this post, I want to focus on one of the biggest benefits: complete traceability. First, I'd like to provide a summary of the process flow in the project used for the images below:
  • A requirement is created
  • The requirement is added to requirement document
  • A test case is created from the requirement
  • Once the requirement has been implemented test runs are generated and the tests are executed
  • A defect is generated for each failed execution
Keep in mind that TestTrack RM will not force you into this process flow. You can create defects directly from a requirement, for example. Traceability Matrix TestTrack RM's traceability matrix gives you a bird's eye view of your entire project and how everything is linked together. You can filter the matrix to see only items that are not linked, items that are linked, all items, specific links types, etc. This is a very interactive tool, you can hover over each item to see the summary, and you can click on it and open it for a more detailed view. [caption id="attachment_1161" align="aligncenter" width="457" caption="Figure 1 - Traceability Matrix "]Figure 1 - Traceability Matrix[/caption] Requirement Document Impact ReportTestTrack RM provides a detail report stylesheet that allows you to generate a report based on a requirement document, and it includes everything that is linked to this document. The stylesheet name is DocumentImpactReport.xslt.

This is an interactive report. Every item listed in the tree is a link, which can open the item in TestTrack and all of the nodes can be collapsed and expanded. Figure 2 shows a sample report created using this stylesheet.

[caption id="attachment_1146" align="aligncenter" width="603" caption="Figure 2 - Requirement Document Impact Report"]Requirement Document Impact Report[/caption]

Conclusion In order to get complete traceability from requirements gathering through testing and development, you need a fully integrated solution like TestTrack. Of course, you could spend a lot of time manually gathering this information, which brings us to another side benefit: time savings. It only takes seconds to run the requirement document impact report or view the traceability matrix. How long does it take you to put this together if you are using separate tools (if any at all) to manage the various parts of your software development process?