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Test Report: What Is It?
A test is a reliable medium used for measuring efficiency, quality, and more, particularly in evaluations and assessments. And when various tests are conducted for any project, a test report follows. This official document or report summarizes every test activity involved and outlines the tests’ final results. In short, test reports assess how effective the testing procedures performed were. Meanwhile, the test report’s content will be studied and evaluated by stakeholders to check if the quality and total package of projects are worth releasing or not.
Did you know that in 2017, 34% of respondents from the global manufacturing industry spent around 30 hours or more conducting plant maintenance?
Meanwhile, Statista’s 2019 survey confirmed that a panel of senior technology experts and CIOs allocated around 23% of their yearly IT budget for quality assurance (QA) and testing.
On another note, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that electrical engineers’ median yearly wage reached $98,530 in 2019.
Why Is a Test Report Important?
A test is important to measure how efficient or effective any project is. And the same importance can be associated with test reports, where they aid in assessing the projects and the testing methods. Maybe there is a flaw in the test itself that new recommendations must follow. Or perhaps, you need the report as an analysis from the conducted test’s results. More so, test reports are also known as summary reports wherein such documents detail the test procedures from start to finish, and you can interpret the test results afterward.
Furthermore, test reports are a reliable reference. They answer your concerns related to a project’s results, progress, completion notification, analysis, summary, and so forth. And most importantly, the test report applies to various functions. Do you need to test if a water resource is fit as drinking water in a lab? Or maybe you need to evaluate a manager’s new training protocols? Whatever your reason that needs to be tested, you can jot it down under a test report. So whether you work in the medical field, party planning, sales, or any other business, test reports are welcome.
The Big Four: Elements of a Test Report
Are you curious about what a test report contains? There are many details to incorporate inside, but you can expect that the info is divided into four major elements. And such aspects make a complete and excellent test report. In this section, we outlined the four elements of a test report.
How to Write an Effective Test Report
Without a test report, do you think clients and stakeholders would just sit and not care about whatever is going on with testing projects for a particular period? Hence, test reports solve this problem to inform every manager, client, stakeholder, and more about how tests went. But, the report might not be of any help if poorly made. Be sure to create a well-thought-out report instead. To do that, kindly follow these six easy steps in writing an effective test report:
Step 1: Know Your Purpose
Why do you need a test report in the first place? Answer that question first to recognize your purpose. This step helps you determine the objective and description of your document. For example, are you preparing a test report to see if every material and resource used for manufacturing items help the business be more profitable? In fact, around 34% of respondents from the worldwide manufacturing industry spent nearly 30 hours or even more to conduct plant maintenance. That is, according to Statista. And for your application, clarify the purpose, or the whole output would go wrong.
Step 2: Determine the Scope and Metrics
The next step involves the section specifically explaining the modules for in scope, out of scope, and items not tested. A tip is to conduct SWOT or needs analysis to specify the needed tests and metrics to measure every test afterward. For the metrics, you will slowly understand why results are good or bad. It can help you stay up to date with the test cases or defects. But, be sure to set the appropriate metrics that are relevant to your application. And you can provide visuals with the help of graphs or charts. Go for the best format and content, no matter what.
Step 3: Identify the Testing Methods Performed
Now for the main dish, specify the types of testing methods performed. You will also write the location or test environment, what tools and equipment are needed, etc. Maybe you want to assess customer feedback, and you can run through tests like doing a survey for customers to fill out or interviewing them personally. Whatever the tests are, they should be managed carefully. Maybe you fail to gather the right data when you handle the process poorly. Record the important details in the report.
Step 4: Gather the Results and Insights
Next, jot down the results of every test conducted. This step is where you should study the results because they can bring you insights and lessons worth interpreting afterward. For example, what were some issues noticed from the various tests? And what solutions led you to fix such problems? Please write it down. Be sure to collect the results’ data because you would have nothing to analyze or study later on.
Step 5: Interpret the Data
Data interpretation cannot be forgotten. This section requires you to analyze the results and write your realizations from them. This step may help you identify the strengths of the series of steps conducted and even the problems that could have been fixed next time. Data analysts would even regard the findings crucial since the interpretation also serves as your report’s meat. Do not just show the results because you need to explain it further.
Step 6: Note Your Recommendations
For future tests that may come up next time, note your recommendations too. Maybe the previous tests were too much of a hassle, and after the data interpretation, you can make better suggestions and solutions to smoothen the process. Focus on providing best practices so no one else would have to continue those flawed tests but rather a more well-developed one already. And don’t forget to state your conclusion as a way of signing off the report.
When should test reports be made?
Test reports are generally prepared after the series of tests. Because how else can you summarize or interpret data if the testing process isn’t finished yet?
What are other documents to prepare aside from test reports?
Besides test reports, you may need to make test strategies, test plans, configuration management plans, and risk management plans. And what other reports or documents to add would also depend on your purpose.
What is a test status report?
The test status report is similar to a general test report that uses data gathered from performing various testing procedures. However, the report relies more on the test’s status, not exactly the total package of the test report.
According to Brazilian lyricist and novelist Paulo Coelho, “Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once.” Coelho’s statement is relevant to how testing is part of life—including any project, product, event, or process you test. And you should assess and record such tests no matter how small or big they are. Because at the end of the day, having zero effort to manage tests, in general, will affect the outcome. You would expect tests to run smoothly with enough will to process and evaluate it thoroughly. And that is just what you can achieve in partnering with a test report.