Test Environment Management

Test Environment Management can be considered a part of software delivery process whose goal is to provide stable and usable environment where testers can run their scenarios and replicate bugs. It consists of multiple components like hardware, software, databases, middleware, applications and test data managed by tools, procedures and resources effectively.

Test bed or test environment is configured as per the need of the Application under Test. On a few occasion, test bed could be the combination of the test environment and the test data it operates.

Why is it required?

In the testing phase, the team structure of the test team varies as per the stage of a current project. Many times the testers working on the project in a team keep changing and the knowledge of the environments used for a particular test cycle is lost. Moreover, the test environments are continuously evolving and it becomes important for someone to own the test environment configuration and its usage details. This is where establishing a test environment management (TEM) would prove to be a boon

Challenges in setting up Test Environment Management –

  1. Lack of dedicated teams
  2. Different independent Environment
  3. Lack of automation which increases human dependency
  4. Lack of documentation

How Test Environment can be made more efficient –

  1. Efficient Resource Management –

A single team must be set which will be responsible for all test environment related activities. This team would be responsible for maintaining all the activities with proper documentation using proper and common terminology which would help all the other team members.

The test environment that has to be design must be based on production environment blueprint and future test requirements, keeping in mind about possibility of continuous improvements. The importance of understanding the business requirement at an early stage is key for effectively building the test environment and hence getting proper results.

Cost optimization in terms of time and money can only be reached by following process optimization and standardization of Test Environment which directly improves the overall efficiency. This is why we need to define, implement & adhere to best practices.

Demand forecasting and capacity planning also play a very important role in helping plan ahead. An effective Test Environment Management would require a well-structured requirement discussion, elaboration, validation and definition

Automating test environment activities will help minimize dependency. Automation strategies ensure that the turnaround time for test environment provisioning is improved.

Author : Paras Sharma

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