Management Agile Auditability
16 mins read
May 30, 2024

Software testing reports in test management and which to choose for your niche

Software testing takes a lot of time and effort, but it's all for nothing without effective communication between team members. That's where software testing reports come in – they ease the interaction between teams so that everyone is on the same page.

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Kirill Chabanov
Olga Ryan

A software testing report is a vital document that should be created at the end of any effective test evaluation process. It contains information on meeting exit criteria and planning requirements and aspects of the analytic methods performed during a number of tests and test reports.

Our latest video provides valuable insights into the testing reports and is definitely worth checking out.

Why is a test report crucial for the QA testing process?

The number one reason why QA Reports are just as crucial as running tests is that it’s easier said than done; with new test cases being added into our release plans every single time can be challenging sometimes – but good reporting comes right up for those tough times.

It is essential to keep in mind the overall tone and information of your report. If you’re generating lots of statistics but can’t draw any conclusions from it, then maybe this isn’t worth reading.

Benefits of testing reports in test management

Test reporting in software testing provides numerous benefits that enhance the overall quality and efficiency of the software development process. Here are some key benefits: 

  1. Improved Decision Making: Testing reports offer detailed insights into the status of the testing process, helping stakeholders make informed decisions about the readiness of the software for release. It also helps you base your decision-making on objective criteria rather than personal opinions.
  2. Enhanced Visibility and Transparency: These reports provide a clear view of testing progress, defect status, and test coverage, ensuring that all team members and stakeholders are on the same page. 
  3. Identifying Trends and Patterns: By analysing testing reports over time, teams can identify recurring issues, trends, and patterns, which can help address root causes and improve future test planning. 
  4. Risk Management: Test reports in software testing highlight high-risk areas of the application, allowing you to focus your efforts on the most critical parts and ensure that potential issues are mitigated early. 
  5. Maintaining Internal Standards: Comprehensive testing reports ensure that you test all aspects of the application thoroughly, maintaining high standards of quality throughout the development lifecycle. 
  6. Efficient Resource Allocation: Detailed insights from testing reports enable better allocation of resources, ensuring that time and effort are spent effectively on areas that need the most attention. 
  7. Compliance and Audit Trails: For industries that require adherence to regulatory standards, testing reports provide necessary documentation to demonstrate compliance and facilitate audits. 
  8. Improved Communication: Testing reports serve as a communication tool among development, testing, and management teams, ensuring everyone is aware of the current testing status and any issues that need addressing. 

All in all, by using testing reports effectively, you will significantly improve your test management practices, leading to more efficient development cycles.

In my experience reports are something cool and shiny that everyone loves to setup but no one actually look at those (except when the tests fail).

WantsDollarPlease Posted in Software Testing Reddit thread, 3 months ago

How to create a test report?

Creating a comprehensive test report involves several key steps to ensure it provides valuable insights and information. Here’s a step-by-step guide: 

1. Define the Purpose and Scope: 

  • Clearly state the purpose of the test report. 
  • Define the scope, including what is being tested, the objectives, and the criteria for success. 

2. Gather Test Data

  • Collect data from test execution, including test cases executed, pass/fail status, defects found, and any other relevant metrics. 

3. Outline the Report Structure: 

  • Plan the structure of the report, typically including sections such as Introduction, Test Objectives, Test Summary, Detailed Results, Defect Summary, and Conclusion. 

4. Write the Introduction: 

  • Provide an overview of the testing project. 
  • Mention the project name, testing period, and the team involved. 

5. Detail Test Objectives and Scope: 

  • Describe the objectives of the testing phase. 
  • Specify the scope, including the features or components tested. 

6. Summarise Test Activities: 

  • Provide a high-level summary of the testing activities conducted. 
  • Include the number of test cases executed, passed, failed, and any blocked or skipped tests. 

7. Include Detailed Test Results

  • Present detailed results for each test case, including Test case ID, Description, Execution date, Test status (Pass/Fail), Remarks or comments. 
  • Use tables or charts for better visualisation. 

8. Defect Summary: 

  • Provide a summary of the defects found during testing. 
  • Include details such as Defect ID Description, Severity Status (Open, Closed, Progress), Assigned to. 
  • Highlight critical defects that need immediate attention. 

9. Analyse Test Coverage: 

  • Assess and report on the test coverage. 
  • Indicate which areas of the application were covered and identify any gaps. 

10. Include Metrics and KPIs: 

  • Add relevant metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) such as: Defect density, Test case effectiveness, Test execution, Progress 

11. Provide Risk Assessment: 

  • Identify any risks discovered during testing. 
  • Offer an assessment of the potential impact on the project and any mitigation strategies. 

12. Conclusion and Recommendations: 

  • Summarise the overall testing outcome. 
  • Provide recommendations for future testing phases or any immediate actions required. 

By following these steps, you can create a detailed and effective test report that provides valuable insights into the testing process and helps in decision-making.

What does a QA test report consist of?

Products and intermediates

The report should summarize the critical information of all tested products and explain why other untested items were not tested in that iteration. In doing so, stakeholders will better understand where delays occurred and how to proceed with them.

Report test environments

Since there are many different software testing environments and their features, you need to understand the attributes of the operating system installed. One example can be Windows Server 2012 R2 with an eight-core processor at 3 GHz speed along with 16GB RAM for your application to run smoothly and as intended. Also, ensure that all roles on your test server have been appropriately assigned, so no one has too many privileges or rights, affecting how well each function runs within this environment.

Conclusions in a test report

This section of the software testing report is more like a sign-off while providing necessary suggestions and wrapping up with a relevant conclusion. Test report experts are generally non-judgmental and non-judgemental to provide feedback.

Test reports are very impactful, but they also take a lot of time. Capture is an amazing solution to automatically make test reports as you are executing the test case. This is a great time saver, especially when running tests with a lot of test steps.

You could also speed up not just test reporting, but test case creation as well. The test management solution aqua comes with an AI Copilot to create entire test cases from scratch or complete quick drafts. It synergises with key QA solutions and works well with Capture to save even more hours.

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Types of test reports in test case management

Test case management is a step-by-step process that involves teams, expertise, and tracking. It starts with tracking and then generating tests reports to communicate what’s going on during testing. An essential test objective is always clear report communication between testing team members. Let’s take a look at the most basic types of test reports in software testing solutions:

  • Test incident report
  • Test cycle report
  • Test summary report

The test incident report gives a bird’ eye view of the project or any issue that occurs during its life cycle, while the test cycle report tells about one specific testing phase and how it went. The final product is then summarized in a separate report, which explains what was tested over time and whether issues are still present with this iteration.

Test incident report

There are several people involved in the defect management process, such as the tester and developers. Test cases defects can range from minor design flaws to problems with deployment or even bugs that arise during testing. There’s no limit to what faults may be found – pinpointing them is essential for every testing team member. A report is generated about the latest issues and bugs so that relevant teams can be notified. 

The test incident report includes any deviations from expected test report conditions during the testing process. These incidents are reported as defects or problems and added to a repository with a unique ID. The report is categorized in priority so testers can communicate issues accordingly, depending on their severity, including the names of those assigned to the tasks.

Test cycle report

A test cycle report is a document that details the tests that are being executed in each testing phase, which builds will be tested during every cycle and what issues are severe enough for them. It also includes any resources required – time or human resources – for those phases of testing. If you want a product to be stable, it needs multiple testing cycles, even in waterfall projects. The final version of your product might not have any errors.

One of the most crucial things to keep in mind when writing a test cycle report is to include new defects and any issues from previous cycles that were not addressed. Good traceability is a pillar of software test reporting. 

The report should bridge previous cycles and explain the facts; the test cycle report must explain an overall situation of a product’s development concerning defects. The severity of each defect, along with its impact on both end-users and developers, determines how much importance one must place in resolving these errors or deficiencies. Test summary is placed at the end of each report.

Test summary report

The test report summary report concludes an entire cycle and can be used to determine whether a product has matured enough for release. It is created at the end of each phase or when a product’s life cycle has ended.

​​The test report should clearly show the IDs of each item tested, what variations occurred during testing and how they were resolved. It should include a detailed list of test results along with their assessments. Well-organised test management reports are vital for converting high test coverage into highly stable software. 

Which test report to choose?

In banking and e-commerce, insurance, and manufactory niches, you can find that these different types of test reports are highly applicable. There is no single decision for each niche on what kind of reporting to choose – you have to decide this depending on your deliverables.

There are many tools to help you with QA reporting, and choosing one is essential for banking, e-commerce, insurance, and manufacturing niches. 

What are effective test report tools?

Banking & e-commerce

  • aqua cloud – you can make professional reports such as status reports, release notes, and summaries for your superiors with the push of a button;
  • Kualitee – the tool can help with the data gathering and application & website customization.

Insurance

It is vital to make sure the software testing works according to the compliance requirements. 

  • aqua cloud – the tool helps you with the compliance process, without which it will not be possible to release the product;
  • TestMonitor – you can define what’s important to you by focusing on your requirements instead of just testing everything that comes up in a particular release cycle.

Manufacturing

  • aqua cloud – once the test automation and test report strategies are devised, you can operate it via various agents from within aqua cloud. Agents are interfaces between aqua and a test automation tool;
  • Qmerty – automation jumpstart package includes training, initial configuration, and setting up of selected test cases for QMetry Automation Studio to help your team on-board quickly. The company also provides tools that will jumpstart the test automation process in a way that is appropriate for each situation, so you can easily handle the QA automation in the manufacturing niche with the tool.

Summary

Since the early days of waterfall project development, the test reporting process has become more sophisticated. However, one thing hasn’t changed: tools to get actionable feedback to pinpoint bugs quickly, improving yearly. Using the right tools, you can filter out noise by focusing on genuine issues so don’t waste time investigating anything else.

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FAQ
Why is test report needed?

A test report is essential for several reasons. It provides detailed insights into the status and outcomes of testing, helping stakeholders make informed, data-driven decisions about the readiness of the software for release. By tracking testing progress, defect status, and test coverage, it ensures that all team members and stakeholders are informed and aligned, enhancing visibility and transparency. Analyzing test reports over time helps identify recurring issues and patterns, leading to improved future testing strategies. Additionally, test reports highlight high-risk areas, allowing teams to focus on the most critical parts and mitigate potential issues early. They also ensure comprehensive testing and maintain high-quality standards throughout the development lifecycle. Moreover, detailed insights from test reports enable efficient resource allocation, allowing teams to prioritize their efforts effectively. For industries requiring regulatory compliance, test reports provide necessary documentation for audits. Overall, a test report is a crucial tool for improving test management practices and ensuring successful software development.

How to write a software test report?

You need to describe the product and all intermediates, report the test environment, and draw conclusions. 

What are the types of reports in software testing?

The main types are test incident reports, test cycle reports, test summary reports.

What are the best test report tools?

The two industry leaders are QMetry and aqua ALM. QMetry has a heavy focus on dashboards, while aqua’s strengths lie in data manipulation & automation, insanely customisable report wizard, and a variety of import and export options.

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