From Need to Know-How: An In-depth Look at Test Reporting
Maintaining high software product quality is a great way to stay a step ahead of the competition. Continuous testing (and test reporting in particular) plays a huge role in ensuring your product meets the necessary quality standards.
What Is Test Reporting in Software Testing?
Test reporting allows software development teams to get a detailed summary of all test activities.
As organizations look to win customers over, they invest heavily in software testing tools to deliver the best products and services. Today, software testing has become a key aspect of the software development life cycle. But to achieve the desired level of quality, just using modern tools is not enough.
Teams must also drive efforts toward test reporting to evaluate (and maintain) the quality of software releases. Delivering insight into how well test activities are performed, test reporting in software testing helps stakeholders determine the quality of the test product and make the right decisions.
What Do Test Reports Help With?
The objective of test reports is to analyze software quality and provide valuable information in the form of references and feedback for quick decision-making. It showcases the tester’s point of view on the testing project and informs stakeholders about the current status and possible risks.
Test reports have several components, including project info, test objectives, defect information, and summary. These components deliver valuable insights and feedback on the overall health of the product under test while empowering teams to identify ways to improve it.
The information provided in the test report can help stakeholders make the right testing and release management decisions.
By offering a detailed synopsis of all the test activities carried out by the team, test reports help teams:
- Understand how well testing was performed and identify the reasons behind a failed/negative test report.
- Evaluate the quality of the tested product or feature and get clarity on when it can be released.
- Get insight into how quickly the team identified, tackled, and resolved defects.
- Determine the overall quality of continuous testing or test automation activities.
- Get real-time information on testing strategies, goals, and efforts and make changes as needed.
- Ascertain the value achieved through testing activities and uncover team or tool challenges in time.
What Are the Benefits of a Test Summary Report?
In the realm of continuous testing, test reporting delivers critical information on the testing process, including gaps and challenges. For instance, if a test report showcases many unresolved defects, teams can defer the software release process until they are fixed.
In essence, a test summary report presents key insight into the testing process, allowing teams to:
- Understand testing objectives
- Get a detailed summary of the testing project, including:
- Total number of test cases executed
- Number of test cases passed, failed, or blocked
- Assess the quality of the software under test
- Keep track of software testing activities
- Determine the status of the software release process
- Get insight into defects, including
- Evaluate the results of the testing project
What Are the Challenges of Test Reporting?
In today’s era of continuous testing, test reporting also has to be continuous. But the variety of Agile, DevOps, and CI/CD tools and methodologies has altered the scope of test reporting and added more responsibilities to testing teams. Let’s look at the top test reporting challenges:
- Today’s software applications have become extremely complex, which has also made the testing process complex. As test coverage techniques grow, identifying critical testing data and capturing it in the form of test reports is not easy.
- As the dependence on Agile and DevOps increases, faster releases have become the norm. As a result, aligning test reporting speed with testing speed is extremely difficult, which impacts the quality of the test reports generated.
- With software products getting tested across different devices, platforms, and operating systems, gathering, storing, cleaning, and using relevant data takes too much time – which delays test reporting.
How Can You Build Good Test Reports?
If you want to improve the quality of the product or feature you are building, you need to track and monitor testing activities across the software testing lifecycle. To that end, here are some tips that can help you streamline the test reporting process, build good test reports, and facilitate early product releases:
- Make test reporting an integral part of your continuous testing project.
- Make sure the test report you build provides a detailed description of the testing process.
- All the information you include in the test summary report should be clear, concise, and easy to understand by a variety of stakeholders.
- Have a standard test reporting template to maintain consistency between test reports across different projects.
- Clearly mention red flags, so teams can work on resolving critical defects on priority.
- Ensure you list down reasons for failed tests to give teams a better idea of the underlying reasons.
- Every bug you mention in your test report should have a description attached to it.
- Make it a point to provide a summary of the testing process as well as a detailed overview of passed and failed tests.
- Do include important information such as test cycle, percentage of test cases passed/failed, defect priority/status, etc.
- Present information in a way that allows teams to get the right information at the right time and receive quick feedback on challenges.
- Include information on real-time testing scenarios in the CI/CD pipeline.
- For better and quicker insight, use heat mapping techniques to indicate critical and priority defects.
In the realm of automation testing, test reports act as the ideal communication tool between test managers and the entire testing team. Using test reports, team members can get a better idea of the project situation. They can also better gauge the quality of the product under test and make decisions to accelerate the testing and release process.
When you build a test summary report, focus on capturing information that enables actionable feedback. List down defected-related information, including the number, priority, and criticality of bugs, and make it easy for your testing team to focus on issues that genuinely need attention.
The right approach to test reporting in software testing can go a long way in meeting your testing goals. Contact ACCELQ to learn more about test reporting in software testing.