The importance of software testing reports
Businesses have boosted their expectations for development initiatives in recent years, while reducing financial resources and seeking shorter production cycles. Furthermore, when business and profit constraints increase, projects must be completed in less time with fewer people, typically through the use of automation.
Because of the increased importance placed on application quality, it is necessary to have not only quality testing teams in place, but also a defined methodology of monitoring the test teams' goals and efficiency. Software testing metrics are used to keep track of targets.
Metrics that are well-defined can assist improve a company's or organization's testing process and keep track of its progress over time. Today, it's also critical for test providers to disclose data that demonstrate productivity, efficiency, and efficacy, as well as the financial advantages of software projects.
What should testing reports include?
Software testing reports are meant to reflect a project’s progress and provide a clear overall picture of the product’s status. Creating accurate and insightful reports and dashboards is a continuous challenge since there is a vast array of metrics and parameters to consider and calculate.
Some popular and most useful testing reports are:
- Representation of the number of defects logged (per sprint for agile teams / or per duration like week, month for traditional projects). These types of defect charts can then be plotted as two-dimensional tables with defect numbers against their resolution status or severity alongside.
- The number of test cases planned vs executed, plotted alongside their pass/fail status. Such a metric helps in visualizing the status of testing as well as showcase the quality of the product by showing the percentage of passed vs failed tests.
- Time spent vs estimated time as an aggregate of all tasks planned. This can make use of user story tasks for agile projects, or generic development, design and testing tasks in case of traditional projects. These type of metrics can help find the deviation from estimations of man hours and can help us plan better in upcoming sprints/releases or projects.
- Defects that are rejected/deferred or marked as duplicates or won’t fix can be planted in a report to keep an eye on the quality of testing. An unforeseen rise in this number can mean poor tests or lack of understanding of the expected designs or developers unnecessarily deferring issues which also needs to be checked.
- Issues logged per sprint as a graph for the release end, all open issues at the end of the release for listing as known issues and all resolved issues for publishing in the release notes.
- Progress reports, feedbacks, market analysis, software performance reports are also important to report types.
Creating such reports is an essential skill as well as a key work-product for testing team. By presenting such reports, the QA team helps the business and the product by reflecting valuable data to the different stakeholders, promoting better communication within the team and helping the team align towards their common quality goals.
But creating such reports is not an easy task. It is time consuming, tedious and needs meticulous planning. That, when added alongside the daily QA tasks, takes up a lot of effort and may slow down the actual testing work. Also, if not performed wholeheartedly, along with knowledge of test metrics, it may not result in good enough reports that can be of real use.
That is why many test teams are leveraging small features of report creation provided by different tools they have, which can make a big difference. A simple example can be making use of inbuilt dashboards and defect reports that can be generated from your defect management tools (like JIRA). This can save a lot of time and effort and creates filters and visual charts that can be used as a part of your test summary reports/sprint reports or release testing reports.
Other features related to good testing reports that can be of use are:
- Scheduled reports – so that we can re-run same reports periodically or at particular times as a health check for the project.
- Assigning reports to specific people- so that we can assign work on a report to members within the team
- Reports that can be exported to excel for further additions.
- Re-running an edited report on old data or re-running an old report on the current date (available only in PractiTest), so that we can save our rework efforts on recreating similar reports each time.
- Different intuitive reports to slice and present the right information easily, which make it a good visual representation and hence easy to interpret and make sense of all the data.
Practitest Reports and Dashboards
Ensure project visibility with fully customisable dashboards and professional reports.
- Automatically generate professional dashboards and reports to share with all your stakeholders.
- Embed your live dashboards into external systems such as wikis, confluence or web portals.
- Export your information to be processed by additional comprehensive statistical and reporting engines.
Testing reports are important to make sense of any aspect of software development projects. These reports are not just the “pretty face” of software testing but work as an insight into the overall progress and quality of the software. We must make use of available tools, dashboards and reporting mechanisms to make the tedious task of reporting simpler and quicker and investigate tools which can help in the creation of such insightful and varied reports.