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In my current project, I felt the lack of a sound platform for tracking our tasks, as in my previous project we were using Atlassian's Jira.

Chatting with development managers, they mentioned that the tool they're using for 'tracking' is HP's Quality Center. As I'm not used to this platform, I'd like to ask you:

Did you have had any experiences in the past using HP QC for task tracking?

As far as I can see, HP QC offers an environment focused more on the testing phase of a release, rather than analysis / development...

Any thoughts?

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On a rather large integration project someone came up with a similar idea for tracking actions / dependencies. The idea was that these could be raised as Dependency Defects, which were essentially the same as normal defects but with a root cause of Dependency defined. Any actions blocking the completion of a test script could then be failed against that dependency.

Sounds good on the face of it, but in practice it became a management and administrative nightmare. This is partly down to the process the programme chose to follow (ie. dependencies centrally administered) but also down to the fact that the testing workflow preferred by HP QC doesn't lean that way so easily.

Key issues we encountered:

  1. Unclear ownership: People were unsure where to assign tasks when the action was no longer with them. We found that we'd need to increase our license coverage in order for more and more people to be added in.
  2. Duplication: Quite often we found that we had a task defect raised that also covered the actions within a bona fide code defect. This meant that we were getting updates added inconsistently depending on which defect a person was aware of.
  3. Administration: Due to point two, there were defects of all kinds cross linked and referenced all over the place. It required a team of people just to administer that and keep it tidy.

My advice would be that if you are using a project in HP QC solely for tasks, you should be fine. If you will be mixing defects and test management functions as well, I'd think twice.

Hope that helps!

  • Many thanks, Mathew. I really appreciated your seasoned advices on HP QC! – Tiago Cardoso Mar 27 '12 at 19:27
  • Appreciated a lot Thomas' answer, but I believe the caveats you highlighted will be quite useful. Thanks, Matthew! – Tiago Cardoso Apr 3 '12 at 13:56
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It certainly is possible, and HP's ALM suite is more suited for that than just HP QC as far as I know. Usually to use it for task tracking, especially for developers, more integration with the development tools might be useful (e.g. http://tasktop.com/connectors/hp-alm-quality-center.php, but disclaimer, I work for Tasktop, so totally biased here).

There for sure are advantages and disadvantages given your use cases to using HP QC (or ALM). Bottom line: if you got the licenses already, why not give it a try. To purchase license for it because one needs it simply for task tracking? Maybe there are other alternatives with better matching features and/or pricing, but that has to be decided based on the individual needs.

  • Thanks for your contribution, Thomas... as you stated, we're intended to give HP QC a try as we are already using it. Just would like to know if that's feasible to use as a task tracking as well. – Tiago Cardoso Mar 22 '12 at 17:42
  • I would certainly give it a try. Maybe you end up "misusing" defects as tasks. But as long as they do what you need, who cares about what they are called :) – Thomas Mar 22 '12 at 17:56
  • Yeap, I don't care about how we'll call a task, as long as we can track it :) – Tiago Cardoso Mar 22 '12 at 18:12

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