Every organization wants to win the competition, and one way to achieve this is by delivering the best products and services. Companies rely on Software testing, which is one of the fundamental aspects of the Software development Life Cycle, to ensure that products and services are up to the mark and are market-ready. For achieving a desired level of quality, test reporting analysis becomes an essential part of the process. If the test reporting is carried out diligently and at the right time, the test analysis report and feedback thus obtained can be of great advantage to your development lifecycle. Let’s understand in detail about test reporting, challenges with its execution, components of an ideal test analysis report, etc.
What is a Test Report?
A software testing report is a synopsis of all the test activities of the team, test objectives, and the results of a testing project.
- It helps in appraising how well testing was performed and identifying the reasons behind a failed/negative test report. The data derived from the report is crucial for the business. The stakeholders can evaluate everything about the applied testing throughout the testing process, the quality of the tested product or feature, and help them in the decision making regarding their product release. It also provides insights into how well the team tackled or resolved the defects.
- Most importantly, with the help of test reporting analysis, the stakeholders like testers, developers, analysts, product managers understand the quality of overall testing and test automation activities. It helps them figure out the origin of the issue or at what stage it arose. It also helps to identify the grounds for negative test results. It helps analyze whether the problem occurred because of defective automation scripts, mismanaged backend, unstable infrastructure, or weak implementation.
- Additionally, a software testing report should mention testing strategies, goals, and testing efforts.
- The objective of good test reporting should be to be able to answer important questions like, what is the value achieved through testing activities? Is your team skilled enough to identify the issues well in advance? Are the tests stable? Are you avoiding unnecessary testing?
- A well-organized testing report provides answers to all these questions. It contributes not only towards the quality improvement of the product, but also allows monitoring testing activities, and facilitates early product releases. Test reporting aims at communicating the events happening throughout the testing process. Common test reports can be identified as:
1. Test incident report: A test incident report intimates about any defect that has occurred during the testing cycle. Each defect has a unique ID in the defect depository; a test incident report registers all the defects encountered during the process. High impact test incidents are highlighted in the test summary report.
2. Test cycle report:It includes a set of test cases required for achieving specific testing goals test of a test cycle. Each cycle uses a different product build. So, information on the product progress through various stages is provided through the test cycle report.
3. Test summary report:The final stage in a test cycle is the stage of product release. So, the team should have enough information at the end of the cycle to understand the readiness of the product for the release. Test summary report summarizes the final results of the test cycle. There can be two types of test summary reports:
1. The first one is a phase-wise summary produced after the completion of each phase
2. The second is the final test summary report to provide the final test results.
Apart from the above, there are other forms of test reports like test case report, Test execution report, Bug status report, severity/priority report, Failure and timings report, etc. that depend on the aspects you want to cover.
Components of a Test Report
The contents of a test report depend on who needs it and the sophistication of the team. Its content should help provide simple processable information, quick references, and feedback. The reporter should keep in mind that the objective is to analyze quality and provide valuable information for decision-making. Test basic report should essentially consist of the following information:
a. Project Overview: It is a detailed description of the project. It should mention information like the project name, project type, project duration, product name, product version, and description.
c. Test Summary: It mentions the summary of overall testing activities performed. It includes information regarding the number of test cases executed, details about failed and passed tests, pass/fail percentage, and comments. This information is more useful if presented visually using color indications, graphs, charts, tables, etc.
d.Defect Report:It is a crucial component of the test reporting. The metrics shown under this component are critical for product improvement and effective decision-making. The report generally provides information about the total number of bugs encountered while testing, and the status of the bugs. For example, whether the bugs are open, closed, or responding to several resolved, open bugs, the density of defects, and criticality/priority.
In larger organizations, the above information is not sufficient. Their test reports should entail additional insights on the logs, network traffic, screenshots, video recording, and other vital data to support data-driven decision-making. With the help of test history, the stakeholders find about the defective tests that caused the problems in product features. Test impact analysis and test coping for the upcoming test cycle also add value to the test reviewers and stakeholders.
Test Reporting Analysis and Challenges
The modern development based on Agile, DevOps, and CI/CD has changed the scope of test reporting and added more responsibilities to the shoulders of agoodtest report. Although we understand how an ideal test report should serve, there still are some challenges that come in the way of achieving the best test report standard. Let’s discuss.
1. Speedy Software Release Demand
In traditional waterfall development methodology, the test analysis reports are maintained and summarized using spreadsheets. It reduces the burden of handling releases, and gives the team the time to compile results and create reports for decision making. After the entry of Agile and DevOps concepts, the faster releases has become a norm; testing happens so quickly and so often, that the timelines to achieve quality have changed from months to weeks, days, and even hours. If these conditions aren’t adhered to, the releases either stopped or delivered
2. High Data Volume
Testing creates a large amount of data resulting from the exhaustive testing process. The data is either produced by Test automation that involves more and more testing or by the increase in the number of devices, versions, and mobile browsers. We all tend to believe that more data means more information and more insights. Unfortunately that is not the case in all instances. Data is valuable only if it creates actionable insights and backs the decision-making. Too much data, if not treated well, doesn’t serve the purpose, and acts as a noise creating hurdles instead. Noisy data is a consequence of broken test cases, unstable environment, etc. burdens the test reporting with high amounts of irrelevant data that is not needed.
3. Improper Data Sorting Mechanism
In large organizations, there are many sources of testing data. The data is captured from different testing, development, and business teams. Data also arrives via several tools and frameworks like Selenium for Web Testing, Appium for Mobile App testing, etc. The large volume of data becomes unmanageable if there is no predetermined way of capturing and sorting it, making it impossible to achieve good test reporting.
Test Reporting and Continuous Testing
It is essential to have a solid, structured, reliable test reporting and analysis system in place if you want to release your software quickly. For achieving this goal, the testing activities should be timed and well planned. Timely reporting would ensure that the information is delivered at the right time in the development pipeline. For example, if performing unit testing is delayed, or feedback is late, there is a risk of delayed product release. To ensure the team gets the feedback on time and takes quick action, you need to sync regression tests each night. Good Test Reporting provides the right information at the right time to the right teams.
Additionally, your business can rely on a reliable dashboard for regular status reports that help showcase certain important aspects of continuous testing as well as periodic test report analysis that may contain the following:
- Information analysis of the real-time testing scenarios in the continuous integration pipeline
- Heat mapping for indicating the most critical and priority areas
- Cross-platform analysis, reporting of UI and functional defects across browsers
- A single test report showcasing a detailed analysis of the sources of origin of the defect and the possible causes.
- Report repository for sorting, slicing, and dicing of data.
A Test Report shows the tester’s point of view about the product. Test analysis report alerts the stakeholders about the current situation and possible risks about the product. Good test reporting provides valuable insights and feedback on the overall health of the product and enables teams to identify ways to improve it. Using the information provided in the test report can help the stakeholders decide whether to release the product or not. With time, Software Test reporting has become comprehensive, reliable, and a bit more sophisticated than in the traditional waterfall development era. Whatever the case may be, a good software test report should always focus on getting actionable feedback, which is its ultimate goal. For finding bugs quickly and getting quality results out of the test report, there is a need to churn out the irrelevant noisy data from the report. That way, your team can focus on issues that genuinely need attention and a quick resolution. A continuous testing platform like pCloudy provides efficient test reports to achieve all the goals of your test reporting.
Published on Java Code Geeks with permission by Balamurugan, partner at our JCG program. See the original article here: Test Reporting and its significance in Continuous Testing
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