Testing Chief

Zephyr for Test Management in Agile

Whether you personally like it or not, Jira is the #1 software development tool used by agile teams globally. Especially if you are in a big organization, then Jira is most often the go-to tool for every member of your team to plan, track and release software. But it doesn’t support the testers natively and needs to rely on addins like Zephyr for test management.

Tester’s dilemma!?!

Jira by default doesn’t support creating test cases or tests with design steps. Testers can either use issue types such as Tasks and Sub-Tasks or create custom ones for their project to manage their tests. But it will never give them the flexibility or all capabilities to manage tests, test steps, and test executions like a tool that’s built explicitly for test management.

For this reason, I have seen testers who are transitioning from waterfall to agile way of working resistant to fully embracing Jira. Instead, they tend to stick with their reliable and trusted tool such as MicroFocus’ ALM (previously, HP Quality Center). I’m not talking about 2010, this is still happening in 2022. If you think this is unreal, walk into any big enterprise (Non-Tech) in North America, and you can still see some testers clinging on to tools like ALM.

Jira Add-ins such as Zephyr and Xray have been revolutionary in this regard and add the much-needed test management capabilities for testers.

Start your testing in Jira with Zephyr!

Zephyr for Jira (Squad / Scale) is a native application that resides in Jira and brings test management capabilities to any Jira project. It adds the following capabilities.

1. Adds a new issue type called “Test”
2. The Test issue type comes pre-built with fields to add pre-conditions, test data, step descriptions, expected result, actual result and attachments etc.
3. Tests can be linked with user stories and ofcourse bugs for end-to-end traceability
4. Tests can be grouped by cycles and folders for better management
5. Tests can be executed, tracked and managed for several iterations
6. APIs exposed to do everything programmatically. A much needed feature if you need to automate your tests.
7. In-built reporting to generate metrics along with traceability. APIs can also be used to pull data and generate custom reports

Zephyr for test management

Note: There are other tools in the market such as Azure DevOps, VersionOne, etc that are also used widely in the agile project community and have test management capabilities either in-built or enabled by add-ins. Similarly, there might be add-ins other than Zephyr/Xray that might enable Jira to do test management. But in this article, the focus is limited just to Zephyr.

If you found this interesting, you can find more such articles here on quality assurance, test automation, tools, and processes. Don’t forget to leave your comments here or on Twitter @testingchief. Thank you!


  • Zephyr for Jira
  • https://testingchief.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/arc-setup.zip