Someone posed a question on Linkedin about features to have and wish for in a Test Management Tool. I wrote a response as below.
A) Requirements whether definable within the tool. If not and a Requirements Management Tool is envisaged or known then the Test Mgt.Tool to link up effectively with the requirement ids.
B) The link between the two will help you derive the test cases written vis-a-vis the requirements and later on how the defects stack up against the requirements suggesting which areas are buggy.
C) The flexibility of test reporting whether you just started the phase, in the middle of it or finished it a while back. Check the reporting from a technical and management perspective from an analysis and ease of understanding point of views. Does it handle consolidation of numbers across test cycles for a project and across projects across a period of time thus facilitating comparison. Check also whether Plan v Actual information is available.
D) The customisability features available in tuning the test report as per you need. Say you need to put in free-format text to explain the numbers or graphs as part of analysis.
E) Export/Import feature to/from various formats like Excel, PDF etc.
F) The roles available within the tool and the associated workflow. (check how effectively it maps to the existent one in your organisation and for the gaps how you will handle it).
G) How effective are the collaboration features in case the teams are geographically separated. (Look at teams working across time zones and whether the tool can facilitate communication in terms of baton passing from one to the other.
I) The contingency features – what if the tool crashes in the midst of system test. What are the fallback features. Can we quickly pick the pieces and keep with the schedule without any panic.
J) The capability to write once and batch different tests for different needs say to test comprehensively (across different cycles); regression test; smoke test, compatibility tests and so on.. check how it ties in with the reporting.
K) Audit Trail / Security features incl. access privileges.
L) Does the tool capture information/parameters like reviews, derived metrics (calculated fields), environment information, number of test cycles, personnel details & so on.