In this article, we cover some essential points of using collaboration tools for software testing and how it benefits the software development process.
Today teams are not located at a single place, they’re geographically distributed which can be challenging for companies. According to a popular tool Statista, about 53% of the businesses worldwide have adopted collaboration tools since 2016, which keeps on growing.
The word collaboration defines teamwork and effort to improve the testing process. Collaboration software helps in achieving objectives, meeting deadlines, and reduces the time invested in each task by simplifying the entire process. This tool has been used in various small and medium companies as it bridges the communication gap between teams and even brings synchronization in the cross-functional teams. The primary focus of collaboration software is to enhance communication, sharing, cooperation, problem-solving and streamlining various activities performed under project management.
Why do we use collaboration software?
Companies are hiring best talents even if they are present at a remote location, freelancers and part-time employees are also hired to get the best of the talent. This makes it imperative for companies to adopt collaborative tools at the organization level.
The benefits of collaboration software
- Easy assignment of task and schedule work to different members
- You can see peers work details
- Utilize messaging services for instant connect
- Saves time
- Cloud-based tools are accessible from anywhere
- Improves team’s efficiency and productivity
- Reduces complexity
- Makes it easy to adapt to new technology and solutions
Planning to opt for a collaboration software is a critical business decision that involves a lot of time and effort. It is viable to check the tool to have some essential features. The tool should be scalable to accommodate future needs and requirements.
Critical factors for shortlisting a tool
Requirements – There are many collaboration tools that provide solutions to many management challenges faced by teams. However, checking them as per business requirements is a must before you start using a collaborative environment. A test management tool can help you in maintaining the application software quality and result.
It should contain a list of requirements such as:
- What does this software do?
- Is it cloud-based or in the house?
- How secure is it?
- How does it resolve existing problems?
Features – The software should have all the necessary and new features that you might need to use that product effectively. The software tool must be intuitive, responsive, and easy to use. The team should find it easy to get hands-on experience quickly. If the trial version is available for the product, then you should check its features during the trial itself. It would help if you consider the customer’s feedback from the industry experts as well.
Value for money – Investing in a tool is an important decision, so it should have value for money. The cost of the tool is billed under the project head so it should offer expected results and long term value. The tool is used to improve teams’ productivity and performance. The investment should sound reasonable and advantageous for the whole project management.
Support center – You might face a few challenges while using a tool that requires robust support services to quickly resolve your queries and problems met while using the collaboration tool. There should be regular updates and improvements to make it better with time.
Essential features for selecting the best collaboration software
The industry has a variety of collaboration tools available in the market to help you get more work done in less time. You should check the list of features to be present in the tool to deliver the expected results.
Project Management – The delivery of a successful project is teamwork; managing them involves a lot of effort and time. As even the smallest teams are challenging to handle, a tool should help in updating the work done by the team. It should allow you to track the changes, give you a list of actions pending and how many are approved.
Annotation – The collaboration tool should offer annotation benefits where a tool can help you edit a document in real-time. It improves collaboration as well and enables you to collaborate it completely.
Supporting multiple monitors – Your project might need to view content or take a meeting through multiple screens. It is essential for a tool to connect and collaborate using various displays. It will reduce the complexity of switching screens back and forth. It will also reduce errors, as well.
Seamless chat – A team would expect the software to help them in collaborating with teams across the globe. It should enable sharing notes, messages, shared files, and status updates. If it allows you to real-time chat, then it becomes an ideal collaborative tool. It will bridge the communication gap between the teams.
Video sharing – The tool should allow you to use various video-sharing tools like FaceTime, Hangout, Google duo, Zoom, etc. It’s always great to use video calls to connect with your clients or peers. It improves understanding and gives a real view of tool capabilities. A video-sharing feature is a must in today’s world where people get connected over a video call.
Shareable whiteboard – Collaborating services that have multiple participants is a tedious task. A whiteboard is not necessarily beneficial but has provided value to many teams. It can accelerate any idea which was not possible in one to one communication.
Maintaining updated versions as there are various editions where you have multiple edits or re-edits of documents. A powerful collaborative tool should enable you to keep the updated version of the document. It helps in tracking the changes performed over a period. It also creates logs of changes that can be used for future reference.
Easy deployment – The collaborative tool should be easy to deploy and use for the entire team. It should contribute to the company’s overall progress. A lot is required to take up a tool to imbibe it in the company’s culture. It should engage and leverage the potential of best people hired across the globe by providing a great collaborative tool.
Screengrab and share functionalities are important as any tool is incomplete without basic features of screen capture and screen share, which can improve the clarity of thoughts, transparency, and keeps you and your team on the same page. It also manages the entire meeting to achieve a common goal.
Collaborative software is required to speed up the project and reduce the communication gaps, which leads to complete failure. Collaboration is synonymous to clear communication, and investing in a tool is a way to implement in the project management.