With 3-4.5 million software testers currently existing in the world, it is a very competitive market. You need to know how to elevate yourself above others, and one of the ways you can do this is to write a well-curated QA report.
This article will explain to you what a QA report is, what it does for a company, and how you can produce one to meet any manager’s needs. So read on to get the upper hand in any future QA interview.
What Is a QA Report?
A QA report is a tool that the quality assurance team has for representing how well an application is progressing. This report will update through development to communicate the latest information. It expresses the current expectations for how far along a process is, as well as how well these expectations are being met.
It contains information on how many tests your team has performed on the product, as well as how many have passed. It should also have a breakdown of how many bugs exist in the product at present.
Who Writes a QA Report?
Usually, it is the head of a QA department who creates a regular QA report for their superiors. Although this is not always necessary, and you can delegate the job to someone else if necessary. Although, the head of the department should have a good idea of its contents.
If you do not have a dedicated QA tester or department in your company, you can always investigate trying to hire a Q/A tester. This will ensure they have time to make such a report and create a person responsible for tracking the stability of the product.
Who Is the QA Report For?
Usually, the primary client for a QA report would be the product manager. They would use this to ensure the team has the correct focus and enough resources when moving forward. They can pivot the product’s development based on the QA report and any number of other factors.
Others who may find the QA report useful include:
QA managers: They may wish to see how well the QA department is working
Developers: They will want to see their progress and if they need to focus on fixing defects
Other QA workers: These individuals may want to know where to focus their efforts in future
What Goes Into a QA Report?
The information that should be in a QA report depends on who it is for. It should not contain information that is not important for its potential viewers.
You must either make a separate QA report for each major feature, or you must create one for each product as a whole. They contain the following:
Name of the Feature
This is only necessary if you are working on more than one feature, or more than one product. In that case, you should make it clear which you are reporting on to avoid ambiguity.
You should use this space to inform the reader of the current state of QA testing on this feature. Example entries may include: “Blocked”, “In Progress” or “Finished”.
This allows others to plan ongoing progress and feature planning based on how far your own work has come along.
Feature Testing Results
This will return a simple answer of either having passed or failed. You will base whether it passes or fails on a pre-determined set of criteria. You should agree on these criteria with the development team and/or designer beforehand.
If you have not finished the testing of this feature yet, you can make that clear in this section.
List of Blockers
“Blockers” are bugs that prevent the user from using the application in its entirety. Also, it includes bugs that prevent work occurring on the application. This can include preventing QA to test or bugs that stop development from continuing for any reason.
The impact of these kinds of bugs means that they are important to separate from all the others. If there are none, you should state as such.
Total Number of Bugs
This should be a total number of open bugs, as well as a way for developers to see a list of currently open bugs. A link to a page in your bug tracking software with the list of bugs is appropriate for this purpose.
This will allow developers, designers, and product managers to triage bugs so they get fixed in an appropriate order.
What Needs to Happen Next
This section should state what you intend to do in the next part of your QA test cycle. This would include specific features you need to test or re-test as part of ongoing processes.
This allows developers to prepare and plan for potential bugs that may appear during QA reporting.
As your team continues testing software, they may come across several problems with an application. This may be things that are design concerns as they “eat their own dog food”, or it may be something they see being a potential development blocker. As the QA team is one of the most hands-on customers before release, they are best placed to find issues like this.
By communicating these, you can ensure you resolve them at the earliest convenience. Other teams may not notice them until after release, which will be too late.
What Can and Cannot Be Tested
You should inform your team of what you have tested, what you are going to test, and what you will not test. If you cannot test something, or will not, this adds extra risk to its development. Communicating this allows the product manager to decide how many resources to apply to this area.
Finally, you should include a link to your test plan or instructions for where to find it. This allows others in the development team to have complete transparency of your process so they know how you came to conclusions you did.
You should now have a much better idea of how to create a QA report and what to do with it. You will be able to take this information and produce better documentation for those around you.
If you have more questions about how to be an exemplar of better working in your development team, check out our blog. We have plenty of information for those who need to improve their skills in the workplace.