What is Testing Documentation?
Testing documentation is nothing but the resulting artifacts after every stage of the software application testing process, namely Test Plane, Test Scenario, Test Case, Test Step, Traceability Matrix. These documentations are created during the requirement analysis phase, design phase, test execution phase, respectively, in order to keep track of the given requirements. Software applications are developed as per the client’s requirements, consisting of the quality of the software being developed, time and effort spent does not exceed the estimate, etc.
So before starting a testing process, a document is prepared to have all the artifacts which help in estimating the test coverage, requirement tracking, traceability matrix and total efforts required. Test documentation can be prepared before or during the software testing process. It is a suite having all the necessary documents with the complete information about the test cycle, test coverage, test execution process; the testing process followed, etc.
Why do we need Testing Documentation?
If we talk about the real scenarios, now the Agile methodology is followed for the Software development, which means that the software is developed in small iterative cycles, and the testing of software is performed along with the development. Since there is a large team of people (including both the developers and testers) working on it, there should be a systematic procedure defined and documented that will be followed by each team member before the testing of the product, which includes the test coverage, test strategy, test cycle, test data, test planning, the procedure for bug reporting, etc.
Testing documentation plays a vital role in software testing. It helps to save the effort, time and cost of the overall project by defining each and every process that would be followed in testing software and removing ambiguities. It provides a systematic approach and gives the tester an overview of the complete product.
Below given are some of the reasons why there is a need for testing:
1. Testing Coverage
Test documentation helps define the overall process and help the testing team achieve the maximum test coverage. As all the documents about the test cases, test results and test cycles are present; testers can easily find out the test coverage after every target.
2. Reaching product deadlines
All the data related to the project’s testing status is easily visible to all the team members and the team lead, reminding each of them about the project’s current status and reaching deadlines.
3. Provides good training to freshers
Having well-prepared test documentation of the project helps the testing team in their work and serves as good training material for the freshers and newbies to the industry for their practical knowledge of how things work in real-time.
4. Helps in removing uncertainties
One of the main reasons for having the test documentation is that it helps in removing the confusion that may arise after any particular processor at the time of delivery. There are times when conflict arises between the testers and developers regarding their work. As all the testing, bug logging and product features are already defined in the documents; there is no space for ambiguity in the future.
5. Determining the project budget
It also helps companies a lot to determine the requirement, amount of work, resources and other software required, which helps to determine the overall project budget.
Benefits of using Testing Documentation
Some of the benefits of using the test documentation in a project are mentioned below:
- It helps in the delivery of quality products to the client by maximum code coverage and within the specified deadlines.
- Test documentation helps in removing the ambiguity regarding the test processes and especially when it comes to the allocation of tasks between different team members.
- Test documentation helps in maintaining the transparency between the developers and testers regarding any feature implementation and its testing.
- Testing documentation also serves as an important record that can be presented to the client in case of any future conflict regarding any feature issue or last time product failure.
- Test documentation helps in the systematic and easy execution of the testing process in a project.
- Bug template and bug logging procedure defined in the test documentation helps to maintain transparency among developers, testers, and the client regarding the reproduction steps and the expected results.
- Test documentation helps to better understand the project scope as it includes project risks and contingencies.
- Test documents play an important role in building client relations and gaining the confidence that everything is done according to their requirements and as per the document.
Examples of Test Documentation
Some of the important types of testing documentation and artifacts are included below:
1. Test Strategy: Test Strategy is a higher-level document, and as the name indicates, the test strategy and the testing levels that will be followed in the testing of that particular project.
2. Test Plan: Test Plan is a very broad document covering all the important aspects of the project like testing scope, testing approach, testing schedule, etc.
3. Test Scenario: It includes the various test scenarios or the product’s feature for which test cases need to be created and executed.
4. Test Case: It contains all the details regarding the test cases that need to be executed, like the preconditions, postconditions, expected results, and test case results.
5. Test Data: It contains all the test data that is required for the execution of the test cases having test scenarios.
6. Test Report: It is the full report of the test results either passed or failed. It contains all the summarized data of the test case results.
7. Test Policy: This document contains the processes and the company policies or any testing policies that need to be followed during the testing of the product.
8. Defect Report: This document contains all the defects/ bugs that arose during the testing of the product and their current status for the overall evaluation of the product and future references.
Thus the article clearly describes what test documentation is and why is it important in real projects. Not every project has test documentation, as it depends on various factors like the type of application and the company policies. Small projects usually have no or very little test documentation as it is time-consuming, which consumes days to get prepared and hence hampers the project budget. Every project and every company implementing test documentation has a different layout of it but generally, all describe each and every single detail regarding the testing of a product.
This is a guide to Testing Documentation. Here we discuss Why do we need Testing Documentation, the Benefits of using testing documentation and examples. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more–