How to write test report
Here, you will find the answers to the questions: “how to write test report”, “why test report should be done”, “whom test report is prepared to”. This article will be useful for professionals not only in software testing but also from other areas: project managers, product owners, developers etc.
What is the test report and why we should do it?
Any report is an important and laconic form of information transfer from the executor to the customer. Let me remember you about software testing process. Here we have the following stages:
- Project creating
- Test Plan preparingExecute testing.Find BugsMake Reports
- Test Case execution
- Finding bugs
- Making reports
As you can see reports, which can be prepared, have to contain the information about the activities from the preceding stages.
So, we can define test report as a document containing information about the performed actions (run test cases, detected bugs, spent time etc.) and the results of this perfomance (failed/passed test cases, the number of bugs and crashes etc.).
Do we really need to prepare test reports? There is no doubt – “Yes”. In fact, there are at least 3 reasons for preparing test reports:
- Well done test report allows us (and not only us) to evaluate the current status of project and quality of the product.
- There is an ability to take corrective actions if it is necessary.
- The test report can be the final document which determines if the product is ready for release or not.
Quality and transparency are the obligatory prerequisites for creating a test report. Because it is the key visible for the customer metric of our work evaluation.
Whom test report is prepared to
When creating a report, you must fully understand who it is for and who will read it. Based on the priorities of the target audience, we must determine what information the report should contain.
Three groups of target audiences can be distinguished:
1. Technical users (Test managers)
The understanding the progress of testing, and also how problems arise, how they are solved, the construction of the testing process, the description of the applied methods and technologies have a priority significance for them.
2. Product Managers
They are focused on the implementation deadlines, the pure test results without unnecessary technical details and the overall statistics (digital and comparative metrics).
3. Business users (Product owners)
As a rule, this is the people who make decisions on the end of testing. They also determine the quality of the work done. The final result, generated in the shortest and clearest format (“Yes” or “No”) is most important for them. the visual presentation of information (graphs, diagrams), expert opinion on the possibility of producing a product in the industrial environment, etc., without going into detail. Information should be presented in a visual form (graphs, diagrams). It is also important to have an expert opinion on the possibility of a release without going into details.
Of course, it is almost impossible to write a report, which will suit all the groups. That is why, be sure to identify the target audience, before preparing a test report. Depending on it, the content will be very different in structure and contain different details that are necessary for a specific group.
Test report time sampling
Test reports can be divided into two types relative to time: intermediary and final.
Intermediary test report should show the progress of your work. Progress is not constant but dynamic, it is determined by comparing the state of the project on different time intervals (day, week, month). Actually, progress is the set of metrics, allowing to understand what stage the project is.
Metrics are created for each project individually, based on the goals that are defined for successful testing. They allow to make an overall comparative representation of the project available and quickly enough.
Version or iteration test report is another important and often used type of the intermediary report. It describes the tasks that were performed by the testing team for a particular version (iteration) of the product.
The final report shows a general view of the work done (in the context of established metrics) and the evolution of the product. Also, you need to give exhaustive information about the status of the product at the moment (the number of unfixed bugs remaining, whether the product is fully tested or an additional testing cycle is required, product readiness for the release etc.).
Content of the test report
So, let’s consider what exactly test report should contain. At the picture below you can the info required to be described in the informative report.
Naturally, that you should specify the title of your project, product name, and version in the test report.
The objectives of the each stage of software testing process (functional testing, perfomance testing, UI testing etc.) are required to be described in the test report.
The next points are obligatory to be specified in this section:
- The number of the executed test cases
- The number of the passed test cases
- The number of the failed test cases
- Passed test cases percentage
- Failed test cases percentage
It is better to present this information visually. Use color indicators, graphs, and highlighted tables for it.
Here you can see an example of the test report for the test cases.
- This section should contain:
- Total number of detected bugs
- Bugs statuses (open, closed, fixed etc.)
- Number of bugs by the each status (open, closed, fixed etc.)
- Severity and priority breakdowns
At the picture below test report for the bugs is illustrated.
You can also use some metrics like defect density, the percentage of fixed defects etc.
Test report writing tips
In addition, here are some tips for writing an informative test report:
You should describe in details all testing activity you have performed. It is the mistake to put the abstract information into your test report, because the reader will not understand what you want to show.
Data and information in your test report should be clear and understandable.
Use standard templates for your test reports. At first, it will be easier for the reader to review test report. Besides that, you will get the consistency between test reports from all of your projects.
There is no need to write an essay about the project activity. Just focus on the main points and summarize the test result specification.
As you can see it is not easy to write the effective test report. Nowadays, the best test management tools automatically generate test reports. Easy QA test management tool also gives the ability to prepare high customized test report. Here are some of the offered reports:
- Test cases report
- Test runs report
- Bug status report
- Bug severity report
- Bug priority report
- Crash report
- Spent time report