How to Stop Annoying Project Team with Improper Test Cases?

How to Stop Annoying Project Team with Improper Test Cases?
August 15 13:43 2017 Print This Article

Properly designed test cases promote the creation of top-quality products and solutions by increasing the productivity and work efficiency of the whole team. Poorly written test cases may lead to misunderstandings between team members and cause time wasting. But proper ones ensure flawless activities and smooth release. How to write effective test cases? This article will give you the answer.

What is a test case?

In general, test case is a set of specific actions that testers perform in order to detect any system errors and misoperation of software components. Several test cases form a test scenario.

For example, you should test a login procedure. This is test scenario. The way you are going to verify the procedure is a set of test cases. First, you input valid email – one case. Then you check system behavior by entering invalid inputs – another case. And so on till you cover most common cases. But do not forget about untypical ones because sometimes user behavior can be unpredictable.

Why do we need to write test cases?

Quality of software products requires developers, testers and other specialists engaged in software creation to be very specific. By designing test cases, QA specialists verify product functionality and capacities step by step in accordance to specifications and written requirements.

Test cases help to monitor and track verified system aspects. Usually, they are created before the actual beginning of testing procedure. QA team designs drafts of test cases to which they will add the actual result of checking.

What information should every test case include?

To avoid the duplication of test cases, QA specialists should support every test case with the information that helps to specify testing conditions.

Every test case should start with short description of requirement that will be under test. Then tester explains how he will verify this particular system aspect. Do not forget to specify testing environment: OS version, software build, security access, data and time, etc. Developers need these details to reproduce bug and fix it.

Test cases include inputs (valid / invalid) and correspondent outputs. Proper system behavior is well-documented in different types of specifications and by client’s requirements. This is expected system behavior. If the system operates improperly, tester should add some visual proofs if possible.

All test cases consist of particular parts that include all the above-mentioned information.

What are standard attributes of test cases?

  • Unique Identification Number (ID)
  • Purpose – feature, component or capacity to be tested
  • Prerequisite – testing environment conditions
  • Test data – input values
  • Test steps – sequence of steps needed to reproduce test case
  • Expected results – system behavior proper according to design
  • Actual results – actual system behavior after following the specified steps
  • Result – ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ indicator
  • Comments – additional information, e.g. screenshots, video, descriptions, etc.

How to write effective test cases?

QA specialists design test cases to help other team member clearly understand and easily reproduce tests. So cases should be short, simple and include all necessary information. Much pointless text steals time of both testers and developers and cause new misinterpretations. Assertive language ensures the proper understanding of specified steps. Be accurate and precise.

Try to be critical. While writing a test case, user-oriented approach is essential for qualitative check. After the test case is ready, review it from the perspective of tester. Check whether the person not connected with the project will properly understand the case.

Due to Traceability Matrix, testers do not miss to verify any software requirement. As the number of test cases to cover all system functionality may be endless, QA team implements testing techniques: Boundary Value Analysis (BVA), Equivalence Partition (EP), State Transition and Error Guessing Techniques. They assist in detecting bugs spending less time.

To manage test cases in spreadsheets is not an effective practice. QA team uses special test case management tools that simplify test case creation, management and maintenance. The most popular tools are JIRA and Quality Center.

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Helen Johnson

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