Test Documentation in Software Testing
Test documentation in software testing is crucial to deliver the best results. As a software development director or manager, you have decided to right source at least one aspect of your QA testing work. What do you provide the supporting testing team with so that they can effectively test?
Designate a leader
A leader, liaison, or manager can ensure that the team can access the system, be it in the cloud or on your business network. They can also decide the training, test cases, or other documentation to be provided.
Review the Documentation
Once you have determined what type of training and documentation you’re providing for testing, review it before sending it. The software development team, the manager, and any internal QA testers must take the time to review the documentation thoroughly. Verify the documentation and “send no junk.” If you provide incorrect documentation it’ll create confusion and misunderstanding, thus impairing overall productivity. If you send junk in, you’ll get junk back. Make sure the organisation’s internal experts have also validated the documentation.
Set Out a Clear SLA
Is your plan to task the supporting testing team with reviewing test cases and then to provide feedback by entering defects? If so, make it clear and include it in your SLA (service level agreement). Keep in mind that if you do choose this approach, there will be a large volume of questions and issues that will need to be processed by the internal SME or leader. The leader’s workload will significantly increase. Additionally, consider the testing schedule and confirm it allows for the extra time to review, test, and process all outstanding questions.
You can also provide ‘help documentation’ to your support team for testing purposes. It is imperative to gather a small team of internal SMEs to validate the depth and accuracy of this documentation before they receive it. This approach will provide two distinct benefits:
- The right sourced, supporting testing team will enhance the quality and accuracy of your ‘help documentation’
- Your application function will actually match the ‘Help’ menu description
For the application end user, both improvements to documentation quality are wins. The accuracy of the ‘help documentation’ impacts upon the credibility of the application and improves end users’ trust. When end users find the application doesn’t match the ‘Help’ menu instruction, it sours their overall view of application functionality.
You may also consider using the internal training team to provide the same end user training you give to your customers. If appropriate, train the supporting team using the same training materials. Using this type of documentation to train them will guarantee that they’ll understand the end user’s application view. If testers understand the end user experience, they can discover more customer-facing defects and fix them before release.
Test documentation in software testing is hugely important. As the development leader, you don’t want junk in your application development organisation, nor do you want to send junk out only to get it back again. For the health of the application and the financial benefit of the company, it’s imperative that you decide what type of documentation the right sourced testing team uses for testing. It could be the ‘Help’ menu, existing test cases, or ‘help documentation’. Whichever you choose, get a qualified team of SME’s to review and validate the accuracy of the information before sending. Send quality, accurate data and you’ll receive quality test execution and valid defects back.
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