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How To Create A Test Summary Report?

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How To Create A Test Summary Report
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The completion of the development cycle is followed by handing over the responsibilities of checking the quality and functions of the software to the testers. If we are in an organization or a startup, the project size tends to be bigger than what we would experience on an isolated individual project.

Those types of projects are easier to test and if I wish to make someone understand what I tested and how I tested, a one-hour Zoom call would suffice all the information and doubts. However, this is not the case in global projects in big organizations. With a large team of testers working on each release, defining their processes verbally is impossible.

The submission of technical documents used within the teams would prove to be highly complex for non-technical people. Then what would be the best method to solve this problem? Can we settle on a new system of documents that can be maintained as an industry standard and can provide all the essential details to technical as well as non-technical people?

This is where a test summary report plays its part and in this post, we will explore its definition, components, and relevance in the SDLC cycle.

What Is A Test Summary Report?

The testing of software includes a lot of key domains that together conclude a successful testing phase. These include test cases, suites, scenarios, goals of testing, results, and everything else we can think of. Once everything is complete, we need to provide these details to higher management and stakeholders but in the most informative way possible. For example, if we start using technical terms like CI pipelines, etc, it may not fit well with people who are not technical. For example, this job runs on the GitLab platform:

What Is A Test Summary Report?

Source

A test summary report contains all this data documented in a summarised form and created only once during the testing phase i.e. at the end. It is an important document and is always expected whenever the testing team concludes testing. Due to this, a test summary report may also be referred to as a test closure report or quality report in different organizations.

When to create a Test Summary Report?

A test summary report must contain all the results and summaries related to each testing phase. Therefore, it is ideal to create the test summary report at the end of the testing cycle with all the findings and ship it with other testing materials.

Why Is a Test Summary Report Important

The test summary report is analyzed by a lot of people who take further decisions based solely on this report. For instance, if the test summary report has advised that the critical bugs are still present in this release, stakeholders make developers accountable for it based just on this report. It works as a bridge between the testers and the stakeholders to understand the current status of the software and its health. This makes this document a very important part of software release and the areas where its effect is seen the most are as follows:

  • Test summary report provides the quality status of the software which is considered final and conclusive. It would also be safe to say that the test summary report plays an important role in shaping the future decisions of the software.
  • Since the test summary report’s status is final, it helps in deciding whether the software can be released or not. If the test summary report has pointed out critical issues as unfixed, the release is postponed.
  • The test summary report helps to understand the testing, how it is performed, how efficiently it was done, and its impact on the software to the stakeholders and other non-technical as well as technical people.
  • The report helps testers reflect back on their work and retrospect their process.
  • The test summary report is essential in analyzing the shortcomings of the developers through rigorous analysis and opens the scope for improvements for future releases.
  • A test summary report is essential in tracking the defects between subsequent releases and if mapped for a long time, then it can also provide progress and defect tracking for historical data.

These important aspects make a test summary report an essential document to be delivered before release. However, these are generalized benefits that will be reaped no matter how we deliver the report. The test summary report can also be linked to test automation where some specific “automation” benefits would be advantageous to the team members.

Test summary reports in Test Automation

If we constrain the generic benefits that come with the implementation of test summary reports to a specific domain like test automation, we can see that similar benefits can magnify the impact of that domain in the overall testing phase. Test automation is inevitable. It will be adopted in the project for quicker and more efficient testing if not today then tomorrow. So, it is safe to say that whenever we adopt test automation, its impact will be visible in the test summary report as well.

Here is a guide that talks in detail about automated testing

Learn more

A test summary report when combined with test automation explores the efficiency or the defects of the automation tool. If for the maximum part of testing, you are dependent on the automation or an automation tool, the result of the report is effectively the result of the automation. It can affect how testing is conducted which is visible explicitly. This risk can be easily covered by choosing a good tool for test automation. If the tool is powerful, optimized, and careful enough to understand all the standards and best practices of test automation, we can bet on a good test summary report for release.

Test automation tools and test summary reports

If you are using test automation and want a good test summary report which needs minimum effort from the testing team, we need a good test automation tool. For this, we must look for specific qualities before shortlisting one for usage. If we generalize based on the popularity, the following top five choices are the ones that pop up first in the lists:

Minimum coding requirements

When surveyed about the issues in test automation tools, the third most challenging problem among responders was the programming skills required. The first two were cost and software changes that can be controlled by careful planning. So in a way, the most challenging and, on which we have no control over, problem is that we need to program the actions we need to be executed.

Minimum coding requirements

If we choose a tool with minimum coding requirements, this challenge can be tackled, and the testers can move their focus to high priorities tasks. In addition, the team can hire testers whose main strength is not programming but “being a good tester”.

In this domain, a lot of thought and research has been put through by individuals and organizations all around the world. As a result of that collective effort, today, we have tools that have “low-code” and “no-code” features. These minimalize the coding requirement while keeping in mind that the quality of testing is not affected and the tester should not feel helpless for not being able to do something that programming could have done.

Equipped with all the major testing domains

Testing today has expanded to various fields that focus on specific areas. If we start listing down each of them, we may get a long list of testing domains a lot of which we might never use in our projects. However, there are a few domains that have established their importance, and sometimes testing is not considered complete until each of them has applied their methods in their areas. These are (but may not restrict to) as follows:

  • API testing.
  • Data-driven testing.
  • Regression testing.
  • Cross-browser testing.
  • CI/CD pipeline integration and support.

These domains have seen significant development which has contributed to the overall development of the testing phase that we see today. One may find one tool specific to each of these domains but then synchronization and maintenance of so many tools in a single project is a hectic job. This may affect the test summary report results and the risk of error increases. Shortlisting a single tool that supports all these testing domains is the best choice in this area.

Great collaborative features

The testing of an application is conducted by a team of testers which can sometimes expand to hundreds of members. It is extremely rare that a single tester is performing all the testing work. Maybe in small individual projects. But when it comes to businesses and large-scale applications, a collaboration between members is what makes quality testing possible.

If I could just highlight the most important advantages I have experienced due to good collaboration, the following would top the lists:

  • Better decision-making.
  • Early defect analysis and quick decision on the defect.
  • Improved efficiency.
  • Enhanced teamwork.
  • A better quality of software.
  • More innovative ideas among the team.
  • Better learning experience.
  • An enhanced customer satisfaction.

While these are just a few of the reasons, you would add your own when you start working on tools that provide collaborative features.

Preferably over the cloud

A technology that facilitates collaboration on top of providing its own features is when the infrastructure is moved to the cloud. Test automation tools that are on the cloud are accessible from anywhere by any system. But more than that, cloud-based tools do not ask you to develop, enhance or maintain the infrastructure used for testing.

Building up an infrastructure and maintaining it on-premise is a major challenge. It requires dedicated resources and a team that can cost a lot of money and time investment to the organization. Cloud-based tools rent out their own robust infrastructure along with devices already installed, set up, and ready to be used by the testers. It helps us accomplish all the testing tasks with the minimum team and costs , without the headache of infrastructure issues.

Excellent reporting features

Finally, a generalized feature expected in a test automation tool is its ability to document, report and present the data in a visually appealing form. The collection of the data is important to analyze the patterns and the effectiveness of the tasks we have performed.

However, if that data comes as a txt file or an Excel sheet with hundreds of rows, it may take additional time to analyze it further. Moreover, we cannot expect to put down such sheets in the test summary report which is viewed by higher management and stakeholders. We need to put data in a form that these hundreds of rows can be analyzed within a few seconds.

A tool that provides excellent reports is worth exploring due to various reasons. Firstly, reports are historical documents and a single report speaks about the complete testing results. If the tool can provide this analysis in graphs and pie charts, a couple of seconds are enough. Secondly, reports need to have as much data as possible for further analysis and decision-making. Only “test passed” and “test failed” would not work when it comes to large-scale projects.

Therefore, as a thumb rule, we always should look out for the sample reports and reporting features before selecting a test automation tool for test summary reports.

How can Testsigma help in the test summary reports?

Finding a tool that possesses all the above-mentioned features in its full glory is tough and teams generally do not have time to try out all the available tools just to check if they meet the requirements.

Testsigma is a test automation tool that can help you explore multi-dimensional test domains on the cloud for free. Let’s look at the tool’s capabilities along the lines of the most anticipated features as discussed in the previous section.

Testsigma

  • English-based test scripting: The point of minimum coding requirement can be fulfilled through the “no-code” approach of eliminating the programming languages completely from the scene. Testsigma uses plain English text to create automation scripts which are then converted to actions using natural language processing.

English-based test scripting

  • Equipped with all major testing domains: The tool provides support for API testing, data-driven testing, cross-browser testing, regression testing as well as integrations with CI/CD and other third-party tools.
  • Collaboration: The tool has collaboration workflow built-in for testers and also comes with tons of integrations that include software developed specifically for collaborations. For instance, bug tracking tools help collaborate members from other teams as well, tracking the comments, and statuses, and transferring the bugs without communicating with the member.
  • Cloud-based: Testsigma is completely based on the cloud. The testers do not need to worry about updating devices or OS installations or maintaining the connections between various devices. Everything comes pre-setup and ready to use when you sign up for free.
  • Reporting: Testsigma comes with intelligent reporting features that create a report in a way it can be read and analyzed easily. A sample of the report is as follows:

Reports

It contains all the necessary information with conclusions and results that help in making decisions quickly.


While these are the features that could be most desirable for a better test summary report, other features such as being open-source, mobile test recorder, and self-healing capabilities make the case stronger to try Testsigma once. It is available for free and is just a sign-up away. Try Testsigma for an over-all improvement of your test automation processes

Explore Testsigma for an improved end-to-end test automation experience

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How to create a good summary report?

A good test summary report describes the most complex of steps in a concise and short manner. It should contain all the data in the most understandable way with good readability and easy analysis. To achieve this, before we can actually start creating the test summary report, we need to gather all the information that will fit into that document. The following steps would be the most apt way in this direction:

Step 1: Time and team

The first step is to gather information about the team and everything related to time. For instance, when the report is started for preparation, when was the last time a report was submitted, what was submitted in the previous report, etc.

Step 2: Purpose and Prologue

The second step is to define the purpose of the document and the prologue i.e. the overview or introduction of it. This can be written as simply as “This document is provided on the basis of the testing done on the application ABC for version X.Y.Z. The purpose of this document is to explore defects and other anomalies related to the application through various stages of testing.” You may also include an additional line here defining the product and what it does.

Step 3: In-Scope and Out-scope

The third step defines the scope of test cases or test suites that were executed in the testing phase. The scope is divided into in-scope and out-scope which defines the areas that were within the scope of the suites and the areas that were out of it respectively. This helps clear out a bigger picture of what the test summary report is all about.

Step 4: Metrics and Measurements

In this step, we gather all the metrics and measurements related to the testing, its execution, and the results once the execution was completed. This is an important and core step for creating the test summary report. A small example of the information written in this step is test environments, test frameworks, test cases, how many test cases passed, how many failed, and analysis on various parameters such as speed, loads, networks, etc.

As it is quite clear with the size of information we are gathering here, this step requires post-processing in the form of graphs, pictures, pie charts, and any other visual medium necessary. It helps analyze the metrics in a shorter time comparatively.

Step 5: Conclusion and Closure

In the next step, the test summary report should contain the conclusions and closure statements based on the previous step. If there have been many failures then why did they happen? What were the final conclusive results? Anything related to technical things should be put down here.

Step 6: Learnings and Epilogue

Once the technical steps are over, in this step, we can define our learnings based on the overall experiences. We can also define future expectations due to our new learnings such as a reduction in overall testing time etc.

Step 7: Suggestions and Sign Off

Finally, in the final steps, we start with the statement about whether or not the application is ready to be released according to the testers (or the lead tester). If it isn’t then the reasons are written down with the steps of improvements. Also, if there are any suggestions from the testing team, we should provide them here.

If these steps are carefully planned and the information is gathered as per requirements, the report will contain all the necessary aspects of testing and prove to be fruitful in the future decision-making process.

Test summary report – A template

Now that we have analyzed the corners of the test summary report and the elements involved in it, let’s see a template to understand its skeletal structure. Please note that this template will be along the same lines that are discussed in the previous section but in a formal way.

Introduction

The details of timestamps and team associated.

Test summary report - A template


Purpose

The purpose of the document and prologue (if any) can be simply described in a couple of lines as mentioned in the previous section.

Purpose of the document: The document is provided on the basis of testing performed on the application ABC……

Scopes

The in-scope and out-scope list down the functionalities that are in the scope and out of the scope of this application. In-scope functionalities

  • Functionality 1
  • Functionality 2
  • …..
  • Functionality n

Out-scope functionalities

  • Functionality 1
  • Functionality 2
  • ….
  • Functionality n

This is just a demo, the information may vary depending on the testing done.

Associated Metrics

This section will contain all the metrics and measurements done during the testing phase. It can be either tabular or graphic depending on the team’s needs.

Associated Metrics

Or graphically:

Metrics


Closure

The conclusion of the application can be defined in a single line as per the team’s results while the closure can be achieved by describing the exit criteria of the system. The exit criteria would correspond to what criteria were met and what did not.

Test summary report – A template


Learnings

This section is purely optional and would completely depend on the team member’s experience of testing in general or testing this particular application. It can be defined in textual form as a paragraph of not more than five or six lines or in tabular form as a list.

Learnings


Sign off

Suggestions, if any can be listed as bullet points as follows:

  • Suggestion 1
  • Suggestion 2
  • ….
  • Suggestion n

Sign-off will require a single-line statement describing whether the application is approved for release from the testing team or not. The application is considered appropriate for release.This template can serve as a good guide to creating a test summary report. In the next section, we can make out things clearer by scanning through a sample template.

Sample Test Summary Report for an eCommerce application

Let’s create a sample report prepared by the testers for an application that deals in the eCommerce domain.

Introduction

The test summary report corresponds to the ABC application. In this release, the modules under consideration are new payment systems, recommendation systems, previous release bug fixes, and coupon generation based on placed orders.

A brief summary of the previous reports is listed below:

Sample Test Summary Report


Purpose

The document is provided on the basis of testing performed on the application ABC which deals with item purchases listed by merchants from all over the country. This document deals with the modules developed for this release that includes:

  • Order cancellation.
  • New payment mechanisms.
  • Recommendation systems.
  • Coupon generation based on purchase.
  • Price-locking for 20 minutes by the user.

Apart from this, the document also deals with issues and bugs occurring in previous releases.

Scope of the document

The scope of the document is as follows:In-scope:

  • Registration of users.
  • Order cancellation facility when the order has not been delivered.
  • New payment method through Amazon Wallet for successful order placement.
  • Item recommendation system to recommend new items for purchases based on other users’ activity.
  • Coupon or gift card generation when an order is successfully placed.
  • Price locking mechanism to lock the price of an item for 20 minutes.

Out-scope:

  • Multiple device testing.
  • Verification of user information on multiple logged-in devices is out of the scope of this report.

Metrics

The test cases executed on the application have resulted in the following metrics.

Test case execution:

Metrics

Test case result:

Metrics

Test case execution based on requirement:

Sample Test Summary Report

Defect density:

Metrics

Defect severity graph:

Metrics


Closure

The exit criteria for the application with its final conclusion are as follows:

Closure


Learnings

The team experienced the following learnings:

Learnings


Sign off

The application is suggested to be released to the end-users as all the requirements, quality standards are met. The application also shows no defects in the newly developed modules.

Summary

A test summary report is a bridge that connects the testing phase to the phase that releases the software. Since the process of testing is too technical, it may create misunderstandings between stakeholders if testers start to explain everything on a call. To narrow down this gap, we create a test summary report that provides every detail of the testing phase in a form that everyone can understand.

For a complete and effective test summary report, we need to understand various sections of it and the steps we need to follow for the same. This post helped us understand these steps and the relevance of them when people from other backgrounds go through the report.

In the end, we are able to create a test summary report that is easy to understand, provides all the knowledge, and is inclusive of test automation results for better decision-making that includes whether the application is fit for release or not.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the contents of the test summary report?

A test summary report follows a sequential pattern starting from the introduction and ending with the sign-off. It contains the following sections inclusive of the two mentioned above:

  • Introduction.
  • Purpose.
  • Scope.
  • Metrics.
  • Closure.
  • Learnings.
  • Sign off.

Who is responsible for the test summary report?

The test summary report is prepared at the end of the testing cycle by the test leader or the test project manager.

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