As a Test Analyst my first requirement is to have a tool where I can create a repository for all my test activities like test cases, test execution, defects and reports. Zephyr is an add-on which provides facility to use JIRA as a test management tool. We can write test cases, add versions, create test cycles and execute cases. To make life easy JIRA comes with a dashboard where I can add different gadgets to generate reports on different criteria.
Improvements to My Organization:
My organization uses Wiki and JIRA both for requirement gathering, but very few know the capability of JIRA as a test management solution. People in the past used to write and execute test cases in WIKI and also log the defects from there. This not only made it difficult to manage the test cases and defect, but also there are no reports which can be extracted out of it. It becomes very difficult to fetch efficiency in each test cycles. Also, we were not able to track test coverage because we couldn't link requirement with test cases in Wiki. But after JIRA provided us a feature to use it as test management we are managing all these very effectively.
Room for Improvement:
Though JIRA can be used as a Test Management tool, it is not complete by itself. There are still a few niggles in it as compared to other products like HP ALM. We can export the reports in xls or pdf. Also whenever we fail any test steps, the test does not fail by itself, we need to manually select fail from status drop down. JIRA does not provide any lock feature for a test case if any person is working on that case. In fact, both people can assess the same case at the same time.
Use of Solution:
I've been using JIRA for the past 2 years.
I found JIRA to be a stable product and didn't have any issues with the response time as compared with HP ALM. Only a couple of times during last 2 years it was down for few hours.
I worked on HP QC 9 & 10 before JIRA. There were no issues with these tools to switch to JIRA, but the tool used fora project always depends on management, user benefits and cost involved in it.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Sep 23 2015