The power of MS Excel is collecting data and transform it into information. Initially I tried to create a dashboard which I can use in every project. Unfortunately this was barely possible. Each time, the challenge was to translate the provided data in such a way it represents the same overview of tables and charts. Also requests for information from management differed each time.
I noticed there is a difference between information I need to control the test process and information management need to get informed.
As a project is dynamic and also data is dynamic during the process I start always easy and make the information I can provide also dynamic.
Information for me would be:
- # issues found
- # issues found in combination with system component
- # number test cases /issues open for test
- # test cases /issues in combination with location (what is the status and who should act
- percentage ready (when possible in relation with time left)
Often the difficulty is that information I need is stored in other applications. When possible I download them. Disadvantage can be here if the structure of information is changing or objects are changing in names it become hard to compare. Therefore I start always easy and let the dashboard grow when necessary, or reduce when possible.
A chart managers often like is a chart planned vs actual. This is often hard to get as the data for planned numbers of test cases depends on the availability of testers and also if they are dedicated available for testing. Another remark can be the origin of planned figures. As planned is different then intended.