Updated May 26, 2023
What is Testing Documentation?
Testing documentation is the resulting artifacts after every stage of the software application testing process, namely Test Plane, Test Scenario, Test Case, Test Step, and Traceability Matrix. The team creates these documents during the requirement analysis phase, design phase, and test execution phase, respectively, to keep track of the given requirements. Developers develop software applications per the client’s requirements, ensuring that the software’s quality, time, and effort spent do not exceed the estimate.
Before initiating the testing process, the team prepares a document containing all the artifacts necessary to estimate test coverage, track requirements, create a traceability matrix, and determine the total efforts required. The team can prepare test documentation before or during the software testing process. It is a suite having all the necessary documents with 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 actual scenarios, now the Agile methodology is followed for the Software development, which means that the software is developed in small iterative cycles. Along with the development, the software undergoes testing. 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. Defining every process followed in testing software and removing ambiguities helps save the project’s effort, time, and cost. 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 helps 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 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. It 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 remove the confusion that may arise after any particular processor at the time of delivery. Sometimes, conflict arises between the testers and developers regarding their work. Defining all the testing processes, bug-logging procedures, and product features in the documents eliminates ambiguity in the future.
5. Determining the Project Budget
It also helps companies 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 deliver quality products to clients with 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 maintain transparency between the developers and testers regarding any feature implementation and its testing.
- Testing documentation also serves as an important record that the team can present 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.
- The bug template and bug logging procedure defined in the test documentation help to maintain transparency among developers, testers, and the client regarding the reproduction steps and the expected results.
- Test documentation helps better understand the project scope, including risks and contingencies.
- Test documents facilitate the building of client relations and the gaining of confidence that everything is done according to their requirements and as per the document.
Examples of Test Documentation
The following are some of the important types of testing documentation and artifacts included:
1. Test Strategy: The test Strategy is a higher-level document, and as the name indicates, the test strategy and the testing levels will be followed in testing that particular project.
2. Test Plan: Test Plan is a comprehensive 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 must 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: 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 test documentation and its importance 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 little or little test documentation, which is time-consuming, consuming days to prepare, and hampers the project budget. Every project and company implementing test documentation has a different layout, but generally, all describe every 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–