June 21, 2009

Use TestTrack For More Than Bugs

Helix ALM
TestTrack excels in tracking issues, test cases, and test runs but have you considered using it for processes completely unrelated to software or product development? Easy configuration of fields and workflow allows TestTrack to be used for almost every business process. Consider this:  Every company has a list of steps needed to be completed for each new employee. The steps might include collecting the new employee’s tax information, enrolling them in benefit programs, finding them a desk, assigning a phone extension, preparing a computer, and many more. Completing these steps involves many departments and approvals and it all has to be done in the correct order. Manually tracking this for each new employee can be time-intensive and it usually needs to be done by the employee’s first day. Rather than use a paper trail, use TestTrack to manage the process.  Here are some of the steps in setting up TestTrack:
  1. Create a new TestTrack project just for this (and similar) processes.
  2. Rename “Defect” to “Personnel Task” or something more appropriate.
  3. Repurpose the standard defect fields to hold employee information like Name, Department, Title, etc.
  4. Create a new workflow that tracks all the steps needed for a new employee. Each workflow event should contain the information provided by that department (HR sets check boxes when tax forms are completed, Facilities assigns a cubicle and phone extension, IT includes a computer asset tag number, etc.). Include assignments and email notifications (using automation rules) for each state of the workflow.
  5. Don’t forget the “process checks” by creating automation rule escalations. For example, if a phone extension has not been assigned 3 days before the employee starts, send an email to the Facilities Manager reminding them of the due date.
Once the process is set, you create a new instance for each new employee. When everything is done, the task is closed but the information remains in the TestTrack database so you can create an employee directory. When your process is running smoothly, you can have TestTrack expand the process, such as sending a business card order to your printer or sending the “Welcome New Employee” email to the rest of the company. Have you used TestTrack for a different type of process? I’d love to hear about it. Please email me a description of your process at sallen@seapine.com.