What is Test Documentation?

Test documentation is documentation of artifacts created before or during the testing of software. It helps the testing team to estimate testing effort needed, test coverage, resource tracking, execution progress, etc. It is a complete suite of documents that allows you to describe and document test planning, test design, test execution, test results that are drawn from the testing activity.

In this tutorial, you will learn:

Why Test Formality?

Types of Software Testing

For a newbie, it's easy to assume that Testing is executing the various section of code on an ad-hoc basis and verifying the results. But in the real world, Testing is a very formal activity and is documented in detail. Test Documentation makes planning, review, and execution of testing easy as well as verifiable.

The degree of test formality depends on

  • The type of application under test
  • Standards followed by your organization
  • The maturity of the development process.

Testing activities generally consume 30% to 50% of software development project effort. Documentations help to identify Test process improvement that can be applied to future projects.

Examples of Test Documentation

Here, are important Types of Test Documentation:

Types of Testing Description
Test policy It is a high-level document which describes principles, methods and all the important testing goals of the organization.
Test strategy A high-level document which identifies the Test Levels (types) to be executed for the project.
Test plan A test plan is a complete planning document which contains the scope, approach, resources, schedule, etc. of testing activities.
Requirements Traceability Matrix This is a document which connects the requirements to the test cases.
Test Scenario Test scenario is an item or event of a software system which could be verified by one or more Test cases.
Test case It is a group of input values, execution preconditions, expected execution postconditions and results. It is developed for a Test Scenario.
Test Data Test Data is a data which exists before a test is executed. It used to execute the test case.
Defect Report Defect report is a documented report of any flaw in a Software System which fails to perform its expected function.
Test summary report Test summary report is a high-level document which summarizes testing activities conducted as well as the test result.

Best practice to Achieve Test Documentation

  • QA team needs to be involved in the initial phase of the project so that Test Documentation is created in parallel
  • Don’t just create and leave the document, but update whenever required
  • Use version control to manage and track your documents
  • Try to document what is needed for you to understand your work and what you will need to produce to your stakeholders
  • You should use a standard template for documentation like excel sheet or doc file
  • Store all your project related documents at a single location. It should be accessible to every team member for reference as well as to update when needed
  • Not providing enough detail is also a common mistake while creating a test document

Advantages of Test Documentation

  • The main reason behind creating test documentation is to either reduce or remove any uncertainties about the testing activities. Helps you to remove ambiguity which often arises when it comes to the allocation of tasks
  • Documentation not only offers a systematic approach to software testing, but it also acts as training material to freshers in the software testing process
  • It is also a good marketing & sales strategy to showcase Test Documentation to exhibit a mature testing process
  • Test documentation helps you to offer a quality product to the client within specific time limits
  • In Software Engineering, Test Documentation also helps to configure or set-up the program through the configuration document and operator manuals
  • Test documentation helps you to improve transparency with the client

Disadvantages of Test Documentation

  • The cost of the documentation may surpass its value as it is very time-consuming
  • Many times, it is written by people who can't write well or who don't know the material
  • Keeping track of changes requested by the client and updating corresponding documents is tiring.
  • Poor documentation directly reflects the quality of the product as a misunderstanding between the client and the organization can occur

Summary

  • Test documentation is documentation of artifacts created before or during the testing of software.
  • The degree of test formality depends on 1) the type of application under test 2) standards followed by your organization 3) the maturity of the development process.
  • Important types of Test Documents are Test policy, Test strategy, Test plan, Test case etc.
  • QA team needs to be involved in the initial phase of the project so that Test Documentation is created in parallel
  • The main reason behind creating test documentation is to either reduce or remove any uncertainties about the testing activities.
  • The cost of the documentation may surpass its value as it is very time-consuming

 

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