Software testing has its ins and outs, as well as specific procedures, and writing a QA report is something a Quality Assurance Engineer eventually has to get down to. The truth is, however, that this may not be as easy as it seems.
The thing is that a good quality assurance report should be a well-balanced mixture of numerical data and good writing to make the insights provided truly valuable and fully understandable. This way, it’s able to bring added value to the tech company, customers, as well as respective stakeholders.
But how to write a QA report that is of great quality? Read on to find out.
Table of contents:
1. Quality Assurance report in brief
2. Writing a QA test report – an instruction
3. Creating QA reports – some more hints
4. QA test reports – final comments
Quality Assurance report in brief
In short, a QA report is a document that keeps track of the current state of the software project – notably errors, process gaps, or flaws identified during a testing procedure performed by a QA team, e.g. a functional testing team. Of course, the bottom line may be that the release will take place despite some imperfections identified, as the bugs found may not be blocker ones.
But a QA report may cover not only product’s or feature’s defects but also things like productivity metrics, changes in performance, deviations from the plan, or other issues and risks identified. This overview is to list important details found during the audit as well as major conclusions – which also means naming best practices that should be continued or adopted in the future.
A QA report typically includes:
- errors (bugs)
- process gaps
- productivity metrics
- changes in performance
- deviations from plan
- other issues and risks
There are many quality assurance report examples, like QA test report, QA status report, and QA test summary report. QA reports may be a result of testing procedures such as smoke testing, UI testing, regression testing, system integration testing, functional testing, performance testing, as well as automated and manual testing – to name but a few major types of software testing.
Writing a QA test report – an instruction
Before a tech product hits the market and meets its target audience, it has to undergo a detailed technical check – and that’s where Quality Assurance Engineers, or QA testers, come into play. And before they ever start the testing procedure or choose an appropriate test management tool, they should keep in mind that a relevant QA test report will eventually need to be created.
What may also be beneficial for them is getting acquainted with and making use of a relevant QA report template. There’s the famous Test Incident Report Template (IEEE 829-1998) but the number of QA test report templates available online they can refer to is way bigger. Their authors have different sets of experiences and pay attention to slightly different issues.
There are, however, some important points that you shouldn’t skip when designing and crafting your report.
- the document's purpose
- general information on the tested product or feature
- test type
- test environment
- test summary
- test methodology
- metrics used
- test results
- risks identified
It’s good if the test results are presented in the form of the listed inventory of any bugs, flaws, or defects identified, with their status and severity indicated. What can also give readers of your QA report a better understanding of its findings, is making the summary well-presented and visually appealing.
The document must be clear, concise, user-friendly as well as insightful, and useful, with an emphasis on content quality rather than on quantity. It shouldn’t be lengthy and filled with padding but it also shouldn’t leave the reader with the feeling of insufficiency and confusion.
The numbers and figures provided need to be accompanied by a reasonable amount of interpretation, valuable insights, and supplemental information that is necessary to make the message unambiguous and understandable – not only for IT people but product managers, too.
Creating QA reports – some more hints
A testing project – irrespective of the test objective, test plan, testing team, test manager, test cases, testing scope, test strategy, or test execution – is always supposed to bring some tangible final test results. These may be, for instance, critical defects found, or a root cause of some recurring (and disadvantageous) patterns.
Test reports are to deliver the most important information on data or bugs found, as well as simple metrics, and lessons learned from the testing activity or procedures executed. Of course, a QA report should be written even if everything turned out to be working fine.
But when the testing brought disappointing or even harrowing results, don’t hide it from your CTO, other supervisors, or stakeholders. No vital data should be hidden in the ocean of information of lesser importance. The findings need to be communicated to everyone involved, irrespective of if they are in line with what clients want to hear or not.
What’s crucial is that you shouldn’t reveal your private opinions or emotions when talking about a given new feature or other tested elements. However, you may give some professional recommendations – or actionable items – on the following steps to be taken, based on your QA expertise and in-depth knowledge.
QA reports – final comments
Ensuring high-quality tech products is the first step on the way to getting a competitive edge over thousands of similar companies, gadgets, platforms, or services. Informed business decisions, proper risk management, as well as timely release schedules, and new feature implementations all rely on QA and QA reporting.
The software testing process is not a piece of cake, and neither is writing a test summary report. However, it is worth making the effort as a better understanding of what went or what might go wrong is vital in streamlining the QA process, and making software product delivery smoother.
Irrespective of the QA report example or type, the final document should be based on a thoughtful, accurate, and precise testing procedure. It must give clear answers to vital questions, and not miss any important facts. The QA report is a cherry on top of the testing phase and this document’s state can make QA engineers’ work and engagement extremely beneficial or totally useless.
If you need more QA advice and would like to make your IT project complete & immaculate – including the testing and report writing phase taken care of – contact Codete now.