More than ever, software development teams have to continuously improve their processes to speed up releases and decrease the time to market. Quality assurance is essential and most companies have invested massively in better Test Management over the last years.
In the Atlassian ecosystem, Test Management usually takes place in Jira with Testing & QA Apps like Xray or Zephyr.
However, to perform their job successfully, testing teams (or QA/testers embedded in Agile/Scrum teams) need available and stable Test Environments, which are often under the responsibility of separate teams like infrastructure or operations...
Test Environment Management (TEM) is an essential practice to streamline the software delivery process by making sure everyone in the delivery team can get working Test Environments when they need them, to execute test scenarios, or reproduce bugs.
TEM is divided into 3 main components:
Test Environment Management may be the responsibility of a specific team on the paper, but a successful TEM process is always the result of improved communication, which is eventually coming from the contribution of all the teams involved.
And as Jira is becoming the backbone of team communication in many organizations, it is the ideal tool to implement Test Environment Management. Let's see how, component by component:
A Test Environment Inventory is a single source of truth for your Test Environments, and when you implement it in Jira, it becomes available to all relevant stakeholders in real-time.
The Golive Jira App provides you with an out-of-the-box Environment Inventory. If you prefer to do without an App, you can also create new objects in Insight Asset Management (part of Jira Service Management).
Each Environment should have:
If updating deployed versions and statuses can be done manually at the beginning, you will soon need to automate by connecting Golive or Insight with your deployment tools (Jenkins, Bamboo, TeamCity, etc.) and your monitoring tools (Datadog, Nagios, Splunk, etc.).
If your Test Environments are shared between several people, projects, or teams, you need a scheduling process. It usually combines:
Jira issues are ideal for your Environment Booking Requests. You can define an approval workflow and even add some Automation with Jira Automation or ScriptRunner for highlighting booking conflicts.
DevOps practices are pushing teams to automate repetitive and manual tasks. Even though deployments are now fully automated, it often requires someone technical to trigger the deployment of a version, i.e. clicking on a button in a deployment tool (Jenkins, Bamboo, TeamCity, etc.). What if non-technical people could do that click, without the need of accessing a deployment tool?
This is what Environment Self-Service is all about:
Giving superpowers to non-technical people!
Thanks to Jira integration capabilities, you can implement a self-service using "Deployment Request" Jira issues and integrate them with your deployment tool (for instance a Jenkins deployment pipeline).
Deployments would be triggered from a Jira workflow transition, and with Jira workflow validators and Jira Automation, you can disable the deployment transition if there are other activities currently planned.
With an efficient Test Environment Management in Jira, you can expect to:
So, what are you waiting for?
Start improving your TEM process with Jira and let me know if you need help 😊
Check my blog for more information about TEM:
What is Test Environment Management and why do you need it?
David Berclaz - ApwideMarketplace Partner
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