- Convenience: "If you are relying only on cards, you also need conversation. But with conversation, details get lost, and sometimes a tester forgets exactly what was done—especially if the bug was found a few days prior to the programmer tackling the issue.If you are relying only on cards, you also need conversation. But with conversation, details get lost, and sometimes a tester forgets exactly what was done—especially if the bug was found a few days prior to the programmer tackling the issue."
- Knowledge base: Probably the only reason to keep a knowledge base is for the intermittent problems that may take a long time and a lot of context to work out. The tracker can keep notes about observations and test conditions
- Large or distributed teams: It's all about accurate communications. A large or distributed team can not use a physical war room that's in one place
- Customer suport: If a customer reports the defect, they're going to expect to be able to get accurate status. Hard to do with a card hanging on the wall if the customer isn't physically present.
- Metrics: Agile depends on benchmarks to keep current and up to date team velocity.
- Traceability: It's always nice to know if a particular test case led to a lot of defects. Obviously, many defects will not come from a specific test; they'll be found by users. But it never hurts to know.
Of course, there a few reasons to be wary of a database-driven DTS tool. Number one on my list is probably one that makes everyone's list:
- Communications: It's not a good idea to communicate via notes in the DTS. Communications belongs first face-to-face, and then in email or text if a record is needed. DTS is for logging, not for a substitute for getting up and talking to the counter-party.
- Lean: All tools have a bit of overhead that does not contribute directly to output. Thus, maximum lean may mean minimum tooling.
Bottom line: Use the tool! I've always had good results using tracking tools. It just take a bit of discipline to make them almost transparent day-to-day