9 ways Zephyr Scale brings advanced test management to Jira
  Juli 22, 2021

Are your tests in Jira growing in complexity? Do you feel you could be more efficient with reusing tests? Does ensuring consistency and standards across projects still feel like a struggle with your existing test management tool?

Enter Zephyr Scale, a structured and highly configurable test management solution for teams looking to advance their testing in Jira. Need to see it to believe it? Join us for a quick, around-the-app tour of Zephyr Scale.

1. Configure it just the way you need it

What makes Zephyr Scale stand out from similar tools is that its test entities are linked, but not directly based on the Jira issue types. This lets you configure Zephyr Scale exactly to your team’s needs. For example, easily add your own custom fields and statuses at a project level, without the need to involve a Jira admin.

That means no more waiting for the Jira admin to add the necessary fields to augment your workflow. There are many more aspects you can tweak, such as create custom labels, data sets, and priorities. You can even associate test cases with different environments. Learn more about configurations in Zephyr Scale.

2. Get granular with permissions control

Zephyr Scale allows you to get pretty granular with permissions. You can specify which users have access to various functions within the application, like test cases, test cycles, executions and reports. For example, you set that only specific testers have the ability to create, edit, or delete test cases.

Permission to perform such actions can be set at the individual Jira user level, a Jira role, or a group. If you work in a regulated environment, this allows you to narrow it down and make granular choices. Learn more about setting permissions with Zephyr Scale.

3. Keep your library clean and organized

As you increase the number of test cases, cycles, and/or plans in your project, organizing your content is increasingly important. Grouping testing artefacts into folders and sub-folders helps tremendously. You can use folders to group tests for specific functions, requirements, or different test types, such as performance tests, integration tests or system-level tests.

“Zephyr Scale came in at a very good time for us, because we were already moving towards, ‘How do we go faster? How do we go faster with quality?’ And, ‘How do we make sure we stay organized so we don't miss anything?’ And that last piece was really giving us trouble.” Falk Hoeppner, QA Lead for HCSS Telematics

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Another great way to keep your test library organized and avoid performance issues is to archive unused test cases. This won’t delete your testing data permanently, and you can easily move archived test cases back into the active test library at any time.

4. Reuse tests across different projects

The most valuable test cases are those which are broadly applicable and reusable across your cycles and releases. When it comes reusability, Zephyr Scale has you covered with a modular test case design. For example, if you would like to call to another test case – maybe it's a login test case that you know you're going to utilize in a lot of different areas – you can add that as a step within the test case.

Using the Call to Test feature, not only can you choose a test case from your current Jira project you're working in, but you can also choose a test case from an entirely different project. In a similar fashion, if you wanted to pull in a couple of tests to a particular test cycle from another project, you can easily do so with Zephyr Scale.

5. Compare history of changes, side by side

Version control is enabled by default in Zephyr Scale, and allows teams to collaborate and manage multiple versions of test cases simultaneously. This lets track full change history and establish a single point of maintenance. If you wanted to compare what's changed between versions, Zephyr Scale can highlight these differences within the test case. The ability to create new versions can be managed in Project Settings, adding another layer of security for teams working in regulated spaces with strict audit requirements.

6. View testing activity in the Jira issue/story view

Tight integration between Jira and Zephyr Scale lets you view testing efforts without even leaving the issue view. This means that anybody with access to Jira can get a great idea of what's going on from a testing perspective.

“One thing that surprised me was that when you go into a story and you can see which tests are attached. With that kind of view it was really useful to see all the executions in the Jira Issue view.” Ishtiaq Qureshi, test manager at Multinational Energy Company

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At a glance, you can see all the traceability/coverage related items, such as test cases and cycles, as well as review any linked testing results. If you need to see more detail, you can easily jump from the issue view panel straight into Zephyr Scale.

7. Manage and execute tests in the Jira issue/story view

Zephyr Scale also provides the flexibility for users to manage and execute tests directly from the Jira issue view. For example, quickly generate a new test case or add an existing test case to the issue you are currently viewing. After creating and linking test case or acceptance test to your user story, you can then initiate a test execution from the Jira issue view by clicking on the Play icon.

This will launch the Test Player, and it’s where actual testing occurs and is tracked within Zephyr Scale. As expected, the links are bi-directional, so not only do the test case links appear on the Jira issue, but the link to the Jira issue appears on the test case’s Traceability tab in Zephyr Scale.

8. Fine-tune your reports

Some of the hidden talent of Zephyr Scale lies in the ability to fine-tune its built-in reports with custom queries. This allows both technical and non-technical users to slice and dice testing results to their specific needs. For instance, if you wanted to conduct cross-project reviews for a client or testing effort, you can filter reports by a single or multiple projects. Zephyr Scale reports can also filter by epics, stories, or version, so you get full visibility on the testing progress for a given area of work or release.

9. See detailed traceability of your testing

Zephyr Scale comes with a wide array of ready-to-use reports. If you wanted to see your Jira test coverage from a range of helpful perspectives, there’s no better place than the traceability reports in Zephyr Scale. It’s a truly powerful way to trace between Jira issues and coverage related items, plus Zephyr Scale-specific test artifacts like test cases and test executions. Similar to other reports, if you want to look at specific issues or test plans, you can narrow this report down by running a custom query.

“Traceability reports are something we have to provide from a regulatory perspective. This is possible with other tools, but it’s very complex. Whereas in Zephyr Scale it’s as simple as getting the report in one click.” Claus Stanullo, W&W Group

Read the Case Study

There are many more reports in Zephyr Scale (along with a selection of Jira dashboard gadgets) that provide actionable insights into your testing effort and your team’s progress in Jira.

Advance your testing in Jira

Zephyr Scale provides a smarter and more structured way to plan, manage, and measure your tests inside Jira. From the ground up, it’s built to support large test libraries and growing teams that struggle to scale their processes.

Luckily, there’s not much in the way to make a positive change. You can start by signing up for a live onboarding webinar to see Zephyr Scale in action.

Or you can immediately jump in and start exploring the tool with a free, 30 day trial.

Last but not least, the SmartBear Community is a treasure trove of useful information and a great place to learn more about Zephyr Scale directly from its users.

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