Introduction to Test Summary Report
Once the process of testing is completed, the testing team prepares various documents that help communicate the simple and complicated activities, processes, methodologies, etc., related to the process of testing, to the other members as well as the stakeholders of the project. Test summary report is one such document prepared by the team, which offers critical details about the testing cycle as well as the status of the test result.
To help you comprehend the significance of test summary report, here is a detailed discussion on the same.
Defining the Test Summary Report:
As one of the most important deliverable, the significance of the test summary report is immense in the software development life cycle (SDLC). Prepared after the completion of the testing process, this report consists of all the necessary information related to the process of software testing as well as the results delivered by it. Other features of the test summary report are:
- Offers information about the various activities performed during the testing process.
- Summarizes the results of all testing efforts.
- Prepared by the test leads or test managers.
- Test managers prepare this document at the end of the testing project.
Aspects Covered by Test Summary Report:
From providing a detailed insight into the process of testing to defining various steps taken to meet the exit criteria or the specified requirements, this report keeps a track of each and every crucial detail related to software testing. A test summary report consists of the following information:
- Project Information: The document offers details about the project, along with a description of its name, its version, product name, date and time, etc.
- Test Objective: Another important detail included in the document is the purpose of testing. Test reports created for different tests define the different objective of testing. Hence, here the test type and its purpose are defined. For example, the purpose of testing for unit testing will be different from that of performance & functional testing.
- Test Summary: Once the test objective is defined, the team offers a summary of the testing process. This includes details about the number of test cases executed, passed, failed, and blocked along with the comments provided by the testers.
- Defects: One of the most important information provided in the document/report is details about the defects found by the team during the testing process. Here, the total number of bugs found by the team, their status, number of bugs open, resolved & closed, as well as their severity & priority is mentioned.
The Format for Test Summary Report:
Another important aspect of the test summary report that needs our attention is its format/template. Standardized by IEEE std 829–1998, the format of test summary report has eight important parts, wherein crucial details about the process of software testing is described by the concerned member of the team. This information is useful for other members of the project as well as the client & concerned stakeholders. Therefore, the 8 sections of the format for the test summary report are:
Test Summary Report Identifier:
This is a company generated a unique number that is allocated to this report, which helps readers and the team members differentiate it from other documents, reports, and deliverables.
After assigning a unique identity to the report, the team moves on to summarize the testing process in the report, while focusing on important and relevant information. It defines which version and release of the project or software are being reported by the document to the reader, to offer them clarity. Other details defined here are:
- Test Items: All the test items mentioned in the report should match the test items definitions provided in the appropriate test plan, which is being covered by this report. Moreover, the team ought to mention any variances from the items specified in the test plan to avoid confusion among readers.
- Test Environment: Similar to test items, the test environment should also match the environment stated in the test plan and any variances from it should be identified with proper references, to validate that correct test setup was used by the team for the process of testing.
- References: Includes any document or evidence that can support the report and their location within the configuration management system.
In the third section of the template, the team documents any changes or deviations from those areas and plans, which were agreed by everyone in the reference documents. The areas that may concern the group accepting the results are given special attention. Moreover, to validate these variances, the team includes references supporting the documentation, these include change requests, enhancement requests, incident reports, test plans & specifications, among other references.
This involves the evaluation of testing and testing process for determining the quality and effectiveness of the testing activities. The main objective here is to define the effectiveness of the process of testing, any weakness in it or any challenges encountered by the team while implementing or executing it. Additional focus is given to any trends or reasons for deviations and variances.
Summary of Results:
After the assessment of the testing process, a summary of results is included in the report which includes details about the impact of testing, resolved incidents and defects, division of these incidents as per their severity and priority, open or unresolved incidents and defects, among other things. Some of the other information included in this document are:
- Nature & cause of problems.
- Cost, impact, & positive trends.
- Severity & Priority of incidents & defects.
- Defects pattern.
- Pass & failure of incidents, etc.
On the basis of the evaluation of the earlier stages of the format, the team offers information about the testing process, its limitation, drawbacks, failures, high & medium risk areas, or good quality areas and features.
Summary of Activities:
Finally, the team defines the testing activities, the efforts & time invested in it, along with the number of individuals/testers involved in the process. Unlike summary of results, here the main focus is on the process, techniques used to achieve set goals & requirements, the changes in the plan or activities, among other things.
Last, but for sure not the least important stage of the format is the approval stage, wherein the approvals from the authority in the form of signatures and documentation are included by the team to provide the testers. However, these should match the approval provided in the test plan to verify the result of testing.
Advantages of Test Summary Report:
Apart from being an extremely important part of the software testing life cycle (STLC), test summary report also offers numerous advantages. From promoting transparency among team members, client, & other stakeholders, to provide details about the testing process, with the help of this test summary report communication between the teams improves immensely, which further helps increase the productivity of testing. The various advantages offered by the test summary report are:
- It justifies the testing efforts of the team as well as the steps & techniques used by them by providing insight into the whole process.
- Reports the current status of the project.
- Helps measure the quality of the end product.
- Assists the team in building a mature and accurate process.
- With the assistance of this report, the stakeholders and customers can take necessary corrective measures proactively.
- It is the final document that helps determine whether the software is ready for release or not.
- Delivers necessary details about each testing process to the client and other stakeholders of the project.
Guidelines for Creating a Test Summary Report:
While creating the test summary report, it is necessary for the team to consider a few important points and to follow specific guidelines to increase the effectiveness and understandability of the report/document. These guidelines allow them to create the report effortlessly with accurate details and information. Hence, here are few guidelines for creating a test summary report:
- To ensure its accuracy the test summary report should be published after every test run cycle.
- It should include relevant metrics and details regarding the software testing process, such as test case adequacy, cost of finding defects, test case effectiveness, test efficiency, rework & review efforts ratio, etc.
- It must follow a standard format or template that can make report review easy for the members.
- The information provided should be clear, compact, and precise.
- Should mention all the testing activities along with a detailed description of types of testing, its process, results, & more.
- Most importantly, the test report should be maintained in a document repository system.
Offering an insight into the software testing process, the test summary report is one of the most important documents published by the testing team after the culmination of the testing process. This document helps the team determine whether or not the software is ready for its release and allows them to take the necessary steps to improve its quality and effectiveness. Test summary report delivers crucial information about the testing process to various members of the team, the client, as well as the concerned stakeholders of the project.
It is, in short, one of the most informative documents that improve communication between people and promotes the smooth functioning of the whole process.
Originally published at www.professionalqa.com.