Customized Metrics Reporting
HP Quality Center / Application Lifecycle Management (QC/ALM) provides a Dashboard interface used to create basic status reports. If a simple report is needed for test teams or personal use, the Dashboard does a fine job; however, the interface does have certain limitations and can cause challenges while producing a complex report without extensive training.
If a more detailed and dynamic status report is desired, then exporting the data to Excel is an attractive – and oftentimes easier and less time consuming – solution that can provide relevant, customizable metrics.
When using ALM’s Dashboard, trends and complex workflow-related metrics are difficult to create and display. Examples of these difficult-to-create metrics include “defect retested”, “defects closed each day”, and “test cases executed each day.” Another challenging aspect is making a report that displays multiple distinct metrics in a single location in ALM’s Dashboard.
Oftentimes, this need can be fulfilled more effectively by querying ALM with embedded SQL queries in Microsoft Excel; then filtering the raw data within Excel to make the presentations and summaries fundamental to test management. Since many IT professionals have Excel training and experience, the many features of Excel, like charting tools and Pivot Tables, can be leveraged to process raw data that is populated into Excel from ALM to produce effective reports.
A blog on reporting is not complete without samples so here goes…
The first sample contains a portion of a larger report with multiple visible metrics. Among the metrics displayed are:
- Current status for each module included in the sprint
- Test execution vs. the estimated plan
- Number failed tests
Every member of the team including a lead or project manager open the Excel report and determine at a glance the overall status of the project, as well as the status of each story and the status of individual testers/ module. The metrics are updated automatically every five minutes.
The second sample contains a portion of the same report. This time the metrics displayed is a defect distribution and metrics on the status of all the defects.
The report can be configured to auto update throughout the day so the data will be in a near real time state. Having a report with multiple metrics displayed side by side on the same page would not be possible when using the ALM dashboard alone.
By Matthew Mettam, Consultant – Olenick & Associates, Chicago