What test documentation to use?

Think of a scenario where you are the only person who knows how a product works. There is no requirements documents or specifications. You have tested the application and it is working properly. Now you are on leave or you leave the organization and someone else replaces you. How are they going to test the product/application? They have no documentation to fall back upon. Even if there is only small changes to the applications, the lack of knowledge of what to test makes testing exercise extremely difficult.

So as a bare minimum, a Test Manager should maintain the following:

  1. The requirements document must be stored in a shared repository
  2. All test cases must be stored in a Test Case Management tool with pass and fail test cases clearly marked
  3. All defects must be recorded in a Defect Management tool and all defects must be closed (or a workaround provided) before the product is released to production
  4. There must be a Test Plan that specifies the following:
    1. Objective, scope and out-of-scope
    2. Schedule
    3. What is to be tested
    4. Roles and responsibilities
    5. Mapping of requirements to test cases and Traceability matrix
    6. Test environments Management
    7. Defect management process
  5. There must be a Test Summary Report that highlights how the testing went, passed/failed percentage, how many defects were raised and how many defects are still outstanding etc.

If a Test Manager maintains such documentation, then when a new person comes on board, it becomes easy for them to commence testing for any additional changes to the application.

Remember that application is always changing with new features being added or business rules being modified. This means that you must be in a position to clearly identify what is being changed and what needs to be tested. You will not have the luxury of unlimited resources or unlimited time. Therefore you must be able to quickly run regression around those changes as well as run manual tests to verify the changes. This is where automation becomes vital to a Test Manager. I will discuss automation strategy in more details in my next post.


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