Over the course of many engagements you tend to find software that really works, which adds significantly to your capabilities and which helps you deliver. Software choice is a personal thing, and people will often disagree. So the following is my list of things that work for me. Check them out if you have time, and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want more information:
Process Management and Documentation
Bizagi Process Modeller
I’ve been using the Bizagi process modeller for almost a decade. I started out building process maps in Excel for lack of anything else, with a modicum of success. I found people understood process and responsibility well when depicted in swim-lanes, so went looking for a product that would help draw diagrams to a standard, and stumbled across BPMN. Of course, young business analysts are taught this stuff formally now as part of their training.
Bizagi are thought-leaders in the BPMN space (even Gartner agree!). Their process modeller is purpose-designed to quickly elicit and record information about processes and in this regard I think it wins hands-down over Visio. There is ample training both for the tool itself, and for BPMN. The modeller is free (my favourite price) as they hope you will take up their full process execution engine.
Test and Testing Management
Testing and test case management software is formal, stuffy and off-putting. It’s designed for QC professionals so isn’t intuitive for lay-people. So many companies I know store test cases in Excel or Access, and managing testing using these products is hard and inefficient. I was looking at 16 different test case management solutions as part of a product selection for a major project when I stumbled across TestPad. I find it simple and quick to use (easy enough to have business people use it with very little training). Reporting is simple and effective, making it clear who has tested what, where bottlenecks and issues are, and how much you still have left to do. Take a look – also highly recommended.