Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Being Taught to Report

This evening I attended Ask Me Anything - Test Reporting with Elizabeth Zagroba hosted by Ministry of Testing. As expected it was rammed with nuggets of wisdom. Here's a handful:

  • Test reports are not necessarily the end. Give enough detail that your work can be understood and perhaps questioned and then the conversation can start.
  • Test reports are not just for others. You can use them to clarify your thinking, understand your coverage, step back and choose where to go next.
  • The reaction to your test reports is important. If no-one's listening, perhaps you need to change something. Better still, ask what your stakeholders want to hear from you as well or instead.
  • If you're not sure whether something makes sense to report, ask someone you trust before reporting it.
  • One style of report does not fit all uses. Format, content, length, style, and so on can all vary depending on the context.
  • You can report during testing as well as afterwards. Externalise your thoughts for yourself or those you're working with.

Elizabeth also mentioned the Rapid Software Testing story format for reports. I take a version of that as a good basic default, and I cast it like this:

  • What I did
  • What I found
  • Risks and value

Value might be stuff that stakeholders particularly wanted to know has been covered, risks will include new uncertainties uncovered in this work. Things I didn't do, but which could be relevant, will go into the risks section. 

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