How to thoroughly analyze test runs in a particular cycle

By Sanjay Zalavadia, VP Client Services, Zephyr

Testing is a complex activity within the software development process, as teams must actively look for and mitigate defects at every possible turn. Under legacy methods, testing was often pushed to the end of the schedule, leaving little time to thoroughly evaluate the app, often resulting in bugs making it into production. Agile testing methodologies have emerged to change the face of testing and keep up with the speed that agile operations demand. However, the test cases themselves must also be evaluated to gauge if they need any adjustments and to ensure that they continue to provide value. Let's take a closer look at how to thoroughly analyze test runs in a particular cycle.

Compare different runs

Although your testing may be done for that sprint, that doesn't mean that it's over entirely. You must maintain your tests and evaluate whether these cases were as effective as possible. Software Testing Help noted that by comparing different runs of the test, it will help you maximize requirements coverage and provide solutions to emerging issues. While looking at these runs in comparison to the last sprint will certainly reveal significant insight, it will be just as integral to view historical runs of the project. From there, you can see how the tests match up. This information will help determine if the test is functioning correctly or needs additional maintenance. It will also be important to observe any adjustments made to the testing environment.

"Many times testers or developers make changes in code base for application under test," Software Testing Help stated. "This is a required step in development or testing environment to avoid execution of live transaction processing like banking projects. Note down all such code changes done for testing purposes and at the time of final release make sure you have removed all these changes from final client side deployment file resources."

Generate a quality report

Testing teams should evaluate all aspects of their efforts to ensure that their test cases are as effective as possible and that defects are being caught early on. One way to accomplish this is to present the information in a way that makes sense. Within a quality testing tool, test metrics can be displayed in a number of ways, but it's important to note that stakeholders, developers and fellow QA members are going to be seeing these reports. Soasta noted that teams should show their data through charts and graphs that are both eye-catching and easy to understand. These diagrams should help identify patterns, errors and potential bottlenecks. Decision-makers can use this information to confirm or deny hypotheses and create new solutions for scaling testing needs.

"Recommendations should quantify the benefit, if possible the cost, and the risk of not doing it," Soasta stated. "Remember that a tester illuminates and describes the situation. The final outcome is up to the judgment of your stakeholders, not you. If you provide good information and well-supported recommendations, you've done your job."

For any software project endeavor, software development testing is an absolute necessity, and it could mean the difference between producing a quality app or delivering something that doesn't live up to expectations. However, by comparing test runs on the short-term and historical levels, QA teams can assess the effectiveness of their active cases and determine what changes should be made. This type of thoroughness will help ensure complete coverage and the integrity of sprint results. With a quality testing tool, teams can operate across one platform to prioritize, write and assign test cases for each project. This will help keep everyone on the same page and maintain a single version of progress across the board.

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