How To Create A Test Summary Report?
The completion of the development cycle is followed by handing over the responsibilities of checking the quality and functions of the software to the testers. If we are in an organization or a startup, the project size tends to be bigger than what we would experience on an isolated individual project.
Those projects are more accessible to test, and if I wish to make someone understand what I tested and how I tried, a one-hour Zoom call would suffice all the information and doubts. However, this is different in global projects in big organizations. With a large team of testers working on each release, defining their processes verbally is impossible.
Submitting technical documents within the teams is highly complex for non-technical people. What is the best method to solve this problem? Can we settle on a new system of documents that can be maintained as an industry standard and provide all the essential details to technical and non-technical people?
This is where a test summary report plays its part and in this post, we will explore its definition, components, and relevance in the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) cycle.
What Is A Test Summary Report?
The testing of software includes a lot of critical domains that together conclude a successful testing phase. These include test cases, suites, scenarios, goals of testing, results, and everything else we can think of. Once everything is complete, we must provide these details to higher management and stakeholders in the most informative way possible. For example, if we start using technical terms like CI pipelines, etc, it may need to fit better with people who are not technical. For example, this job runs on the GitLab platform:
A test summary report contains all this data documented in a summarised form and created only once during the testing phase, i.e., at the end. It is an important document and is always expected whenever the testing team concludes testing. Due to this, a test summary report may also be referred to as a test closure report or quality report in different organizations.
Why Is a Test Summary Report Important
The test summary report is analyzed by many people who make further decisions based solely on this report. For instance, if the test summary report has advised that the critical bugs are still present in this release, stakeholders make developers accountable based on this report. It works as a bridge between the testers and the stakeholders to understand the current status of the software and its health. This makes this document an essential part of software release, and the areas where its effect is seen the most are as follows:
- Test summary report provides the quality status of the software, which is considered final and conclusive. The test summary report plays a vital role in shaping the future decisions of the software.
- Since the test summary report’s status is final, it helps decide whether the software can be released. The release is postponed if the test summary report has pointed out critical issues as unfixed.
- The test summary report helps to understand the testing, how it is performed, how efficiently it was done, and its impact on the software to the stakeholders and other non-technical and technical people.
- The report helps testers reflect on their work and retrospect their process.
- The test summary report is essential in analyzing the shortcomings of the developers through rigorous analysis and opens the scope for improvements for future releases.
- A test summary report is essential in tracking the defects between subsequent releases. It can also provide progress and defect tracking for historical data if mapped for a long time.
These critical aspects make a test summary report an essential document before release. However, these generalized benefits will be reaped no matter how we deliver the report. The test summary report can also be linked to test automation, where some specific “automation” benefits would benefit the team members.