Tracking your team's testing in Jira

  October 05, 2020

With exponential growth in remote working, teams are struggling with collaboration and maintaining visibility. Sound familiar? In this blog we’ll explore how to keep track of your testing activity and team’s progress in Jira, and how TM4J – Test Management for Jira can help identify common problem areas so proper measures can be taken.  


Scenario #1 – Monitoring the progress of testing activity for a project  

Are you a test manager? Then this scenario might feel familiar. You need a high-level view of how testing is progressing and feed that information quickly to other teams or management. Usually this information involves how many tests are left to execute, or how many tests have failed or been blocked from a successful execution for a given plan or a set of test cycles. Below we’ll explore how TM4J reports can help you successfully tackle this and similar scenarios.  

Test execution summary – this is a great dashboard to use daily for a simple testing overview of everything in progress, from issues raised during testing to results by coverage. This is useful when you want to identify potential delays early during testing and make appropriate adjustments to ensure the project stays on track.

A great dashboard for daily overview of your testing

Test executions results (progress) – this relatively straightforward pie chart provides a quick overview of the overall testing progress. From here you can easily pin down how many tests have been passed, how many are still in progress, and how many have been blocked from a successful execution. This report is useful for providing a high-level overview of the project (i.e. health check), focusing only on the key items. You can even use this report as a handy Jira dashboard gadget (more on this later).

Simple and straightforward, this report also works nicely as a Jira dashboard gadget

Test execution scorecard by test cycle – want a more granular view of your testing activity? This report offers an overview of your progress, broken down by test cycles. Not only you can see the status of each execution, but also how many issues were raised and closed from testing between cycles. This helps you quickly identify any problem areas in a project and resource your team appropriately.

Get an overview of your testing progress by test cycle


Scenario #2 – Visibility of testing effort across teams and projects  

In this second scenario, tracking testing progress through the lens of the team takes the forefront. How many executions have been passed by each tester? How many bugs were raised? And how much time was spent on a given cycle or set of cycles vs estimates? Let’s explore TM4J reports that focus on providing relevant information under this scenario.  

Test execution effort (overall) – this report shows the actual effort (time logged when executing a test) against the estimated time, set for a given test case. Each test case can have an estimate, and the sum of each test case in a cycle is set as the “test cycle estimated time”.  This report is useful for keeping an eye on the scope of testing. If the actual time spent executing tests goes well above the estimated timeframe, team leads can reallocate resources accordingly to ensure deadlines are met.

Get estimates vs actuals quickly in this report  

Test execution effort by tester – similar to the previous report, this bar chart shows the effort (i.e. time spent executing tests), for each team member. It comes in handy when reviewing the team workload and ensuring that resources are allocated correctly.

See time spent executing tests by individual tester

Test execution scorecard by tester – this report provides a more granular view of the testing activity for each team member. Here you can quickly find how many bugs have been raised during testing, or how many executions are still in progress. This is especially useful when assessing performance and identifying any blockers or trends within the performance of the team.

Get a more granular view with this report


Get the most out of your reports  

One of the key benefits of built-in TM4J reports is the ability to customize them. This means that both technical and non-technical users can quickly generate a report by slicing and dicing testing results, providing much needed visibility of key data points across the entire software development lifecycle.

Customize TM4J reports for more insights  

Here are a few tips to help you maximize the usefulness of these reports:  

  • Reports can filter by projects so you can easily conduct cross-project reviews for a client, or for testing effort. For example, it would help you identify a project that’s falling behind on the estimates.
  • Reports can also filter by epics, stories, or version, so you can easily get visibility on testing progress for a given area of work or release.
  • In TM4J Server or Data Center, you can export reports as PDF docs for easier sharing and collaboration with colleagues. You’ll find that option via the printer icon in the top right corner of the screen.
  • Want more options to analyze the raw data? Export reporting data to Excel or other spreadsheet applications via the Share icon in the top right corner of the screen.

Make use of built-in gadgets  

TM4J comes with a number of built-in gadgets that can be added directly to the Jira dashboard. This a great way to provide execs, stakeholders, or team members with daily, high-level updates.

You can easily add gadgets to your Jira dashboard  

We’ll cover TM4J dashboard gadgets in the future posts with more depth, but here are a few tips to get going:  

  • For easier data analysis and collaboration, use the Share function to provide the necessary gadgets to your colleges
  • Split the dashboards by category. For example, you can have the dashboard show coverage status, testing progress, or effort
  • If you’re looking to create TM4J Server or Data Center reports and dashboards in Confluence, check out our plugin


This was just a small slice of all the reports provided in TM4J straight out of the box, and we’ll explore other scenarios and reports to tackle them in due time.

Meanwhile, why not start a 30-day free trial to get a first-hand look for yourself? Or request a demo and we’ll be happy to discuss how TM4J can help you stay on top of your testing.