In this article we show you how a tool like ReQtest can simplify software maintenance. If you find the tips useful, you can even try our ReQtest for free and use the features we talk about in this post.
1 – Helping users report bugs and changes quickly
Users are your greatest source of feedback for sorting out the kinks in your projects and catch the bugs that may be hiding in your code. We’ve made sure that ReQtest makes the process of submitting bug reports and change request as simple and quick as possible.
In fact, end-users won’t even have to log onto ReQtest to report bugs. By using our nifty bug-reporting email service you can set up an ‘@reqtest-services.com’ email address that forwards the user’s report straight into its intended recipient’s inbox.
However, if you fire up ReQtest you’ll get to benefit from a ready-made reporting template (which is fully customisable). Just press on the ‘Create New Bug Report’ icon in the top menu, fill in the blank fields and click the ‘Save’ button when you’re done.
2 – Documenting and prioritising issues
The maintenance manager has to handle all incoming bug reports and change requests. Here, ReQtest shines again by providing the tools necessary to document, prioritise and keep track of requests as they enter the work flow.
ReQtest can be used to create handy checklists that help testers stay on top of things. Checklists are ideal for simpler tasks that do not require exhaustive documentation.
Otherwise, a maintenance manager has to ensure that incoming information is all clearly documented in order to feed it into the next iteration and help testers and developers pick up the baton as smoothly as possible. Good documentation is at the heart of maintenance practises and key to achieve the team’s goals.
3 – Decision time
The documentation compiled from the previous step is then handed over to a decision group which considers the issues listed and decides which will be given the highest priority.
In situations like these, a CCB (Change Control Board) is a common solution to help minimise delay and ensure that the team’s priorities are swiftly chosen and acted upon. A CCB is normally a small group of stakeholders (2 to 4 people are enough) and that is empowered to decide upon the changes to be implemented in the next iteration of the system.
To make decision-taking simpler, ReQtest can be used to pull data regarding the priority of each requirement and assess the relative priority each change should be given. ReQtest can also be used to record the decisions made by the CCB and pass this on to the developers.
4 – Implementing changes
The developers, ideally working hand-in-hand with fellow testers, receive the documentation compiled from the previous steps of the maintenance process with the changes and priorities set by the CCB clearly marked to guide their work.
Developers implement the changes that need to be done to the software in order to build a stabler version that eliminates the bugs found by the users. This is probably the most important step in the process since everything that occurred before was aimed to provide the developers with the problems they need to find a solution for.
Since development and testing occur in tandem, ReQtest comes into play at this stage by providing testers the tools they need to validate the changes made to the system and provide valuable feedback that ensure the final product functions better than before.
5 – Finishing touches
The maintenance manager and end-users have the final say as the maintenance process comes full circle and the software undergoes its final testing phase before release.
Both roles can benefit from the simplicity of ReQtest in just the same way they did before. By keeping the information flowing around the maintenance cycle, software maintenance becomes more efficient and effective thanks to the tools that ReQtest provides.
ReQtest can be used to plan and perform further tests, helping the company release working software that serves end-users well and making it easier to receive user feedback on how to make it even better.