Technology

Everything You Need To Know About Test Documentation

Testing documentation is a detailed report that follows the QA testing process. Here's everything that goes into it.

Introduction

Today, Saas companies have become major business entities in the industrial world. 

The great industrial shift is a result of the shifting digital trends in the world. A lot of businesses have shifted their operations to online mediums for ease of access and convenience.

To make a switch to the digital medium, these businesses require the assistance of SaaS companies who understand their needs and requirements and develop customized software products. 

These products are meant for heavy use and seamless transactions, so they have to develop with utmost care and diligence. Moreover, if you are a SaaS entity and you deliver a product with too many IT incidents, you will instantly come under the scanner of the industry, which isn't ideal. 

Therefore, every SaaS company hires a quality assurance team that ensures that the final product is up to the standards and will meet the client's expectations. 

The quality assurance teams have a great deal of responsibility because if they fail to report a bug or an error, their company’s reputation will be harmed. Hence, QA teams make a checklist before they start the testing process to ensure that they don’t miss anything. However, preparing a checklist is not as easy as it sounds. 

A comprehensive checklist is a must so the teams can work in a coordinated manner. This checklist is referred to as the test documentation in technical terms. In this article, we will talk about everything you need to know about test documentation.

What is test documentation?

Before we get started on how to prepare a proper test documentation report, it is important to understand what test documentation actually is. 

So, when the QA documentation team starts its testing process, it prepares a detailed report on what is to be done.

In this document, every minute detail is covered extensively, so a team member can understand the project and basic terminologies. 

Moreover, test documentation eliminates the need for micromanagement because, in case of doubt, a team member can simply refer to the re[ort and understand what is to be done.

Additionally, test documentation also covers the project timeline, which means the testing that has been done and that will be done in the future is provided. To summarise, test documentation is a way of establishing a coordinated effort in the QA team.

What are the benefits of testing documentation? 

Having test documentation in place will help establish the goals and objectives of the project. Without proper document testing, the team can get lost, and the outcome will become blurry. 

One of the primary objectives of preparing test documentation is to produce a complete picture of the ongoing project in front of the team. Moreover, a report on the project lays down important conditions that must be kept in mind once the testing begins. 

The ultimate benefit of test documentation is that you can ensure a coordinated effort. You want every team member to be on the same page regarding the project. If different teammates have different ideas in their heads, the testing process can become haphazard.

Also, test documentation answers the why and when of the project, which is of great assistance to the team. It defines what tasks are critical and what the deadline is to achieve those tasks. 

Accordingly, the teams can make smaller goals with smaller timelines to ensure that everything is on track. Also, having a comprehensive timeline in place will help the people in key positions, as well as clients, to track the progress. 

If you’re working on tight deadlines, it is close to impossible to deliver a bug-free project, and the clients are aware of this too. It is a utopian expectation that the end product will be perfect with no room for improvement.

Therefore, when test documentation is prepared, the end of the QA phase is clearly defined. It sends a message across the teams about what is to be achieved. 

Usually, the end phase is defined in terms of complete business functionality so the software can be up and running for sensitive business needs. Additionally, test documentation also lays down that the program won’t be sent into production again unless critical bugs are found. Information like this helps establish communication within the team as well as with the client.

Now, you may think that all of this can be achieved verbally or through informal means of communication. 

Well, you couldn’t be farther from the truth. Informal means of communication can meddle with the agreements already in place. Also, you cannot rule out the human factor and the ability to forget things. Even if you miss one single detail, it can have a ripple effect and cause large-scale implications. Therefore, having test documentation ensures that you have solidified the goals and objectives of the QA phase and everyone is on the same page. It will help preserve the sanctity of your agreement with the client. 

Another important benefit of documentation is that it will keep your engineers focused when working on complex projects.

Certain projects also require frequent changes due to their nature; in such a case, test documentation will help your testers by helping them focus on the basics. 

For example, if your tester doesn't have a practical understanding of why certain features are behaving the way they are, he is likely to cause more errors.

Similarly, test documentation clearly defines the terms so the testers don’t focus on the wrong part of the functionality, thereby leading to improper preparation of the report.

Types of testing documents 

There is no unified way of preparing test documentation. However, there are certain proven methods of preparing test documentation, known as QA docs, for optimum results. Let’s take a look at some of the different types of testing document examples for your ease of reference:

Test Plan

A test documentation in the form of a test plan lays down all the details of test activities that must be performed in a project. A test plan practically lays down the work module of the QA and tester teams.

It provides information about all the tests that must be performed in a project. Some common points discussed in a test plan are objectives, criteria for beginning and ending a phase, risks, and strategies. Additionally, it also encapsulates details of some other works that a tester needs to do in a project. 

Checklist

A checklist is ideal if you have an experienced team that has worked on a variety of projects in the past. Usually, advanced teams prepare their test documentation in the form of a checklist only. Checklists are short and crisp and briefly lay down the details of the software project. Moreover, checklists also have a tab for progress and observations.

Therefore, it is easier for testers to move through the checklist and perform their operations in an organized manner. Also, checklists are faster to prepare, which enables QA teams to get started with the procedure as soon as possible. However, if you think that a certain project is complex and in-depth details and analysis are required, preparing a test plan is the way to go. 

Test Case

A test case format is a more nuanced form of checklist test documentation. It breaks down the bigger tasks into smaller ones for the testers to keep them focused.

This means that for every functionality, a detailed description of actions and steps is provided so the QA testers don’t miss out on anything. Once the test case checklist is complete, QA testers can move on to other functionalities. Test case formats differ from company to company because each company has its own working ecosystem.

However, if you want to get inspiration for the test case format, feel free to scroll through the Scribe galleries to find a template that suits your needs the best. 

Use case 

Use case format is more casual and simpler than all the other test documentation formats. They are ideal when you are working on tight deadlines, but your QA team is experienced. The objective of the use case format is to design a user navigation path.

This means that it lays down the interaction pattern of the end-user with the software. So, in a use case format, every assumption is taken into account as to how the user will respond and where he will click next. This allows the testers to check the key functionalities of the final product.

If you don’t know how to develop a use case documentation, visit the Scribe library and scroll through a plethora of templates and find the one that suits your needs.