Some questions to help you report on your testing

Whilst reporting, consider the information you intend to provide

 Who?

  Who is the customer (for the product)?

  Who was involved in testing?

 What?

  What is the product?

  What might the customer desire or expect from the product?

  What have you tested?

  What have you been unable to test?

  What have you discovered?

  What problems have been observed?

  What are the most significant problems affecting your testing?

  What are the most significant problems affecting the product?

  What might the customer consider a significant problem?

 When?

  When was the testing carried out?

 How?

  How did you test (what was your approach)?

  How does the information you are providing relate to the product?

  How did you validate your assumptions and interpretations of the results of your testing?

  How did you recognise problems (what were your oracles)?

  How could your testing be improved?

After reporting, consider how you might improve

 Who?

  Who asked you questions about the information provided and how can you use these questions to improve your reporting?

  Who received the information but did not find it useful?

  Who did not receive the information but might find it useful?

  Who did not interpret the information as intended?

 What?

  What actions and decisions resulted from the information you provided?

  What information did you overlook which might have been useful?

  What information did you provide which wasn't useful?

  What changes could you make in your testing approach which might result in better information?

 When?

  When is information needed next and what improvements can be made by then?

 How?

  How effective were you in getting the right information to the right people?

  How well understood was the information?

Before reporting, consider the needs of your audience

 Who?

  Who needs the information (who is your audience)?

  Who has specific requirements which might require a particular approach to presenting information e.g. an Executive Summary?

  Who needs information more or less frequently than others?

  Who else do decision makers rely on and what information do those people need?

 What?

  What dependencies are there on the information you provide?

  What criteria will decision makers use to determine whether the product is ready to ship?

  What might happen which could prevent you from obtaining the information you need?

  What can you do to reduce the risk of failing to obtain the information you need?

 When?

  When (how often) is information required?

  When will a decision be made about shipping?

 How?

  How will the information be used?

   How might the information assist in identifying any new tasks and activities required?

   How might the information assist in prioritising tasks and activities?

   How might the information assist in making a decision on shipping?

Before reporting, consider the mechanics

 Who?

  Who will gather the information?

  Who will communicate the information?

  Who will decide on the format and content of any reporting?

 What?

  What tools might you use in preparing reports?

 When?

  When should the information be gathered?

  When is the best time to provide updates?

 How?

  How will information be communicated (what methods might you use)?

  How can you assist in facilitating consistent interpretation of the information you provide?

  How will the most significant information be emphasised?

  How can you keep reports engaging for the audience?

  How can you make use of visual elements in reports?

  How might you handle potentially sensitive information differently?

Regularly ask yourself whether the information you provide is

 VALUABLE

 TIMELY

 RELIABLE

WHY?

 Once you think have an answer to one of these questions, you can often test your answer and refine your response by asking yourself the follow up question, 'Why?' Perhaps there is a better answer, or more information you hadn't considered.

Contributed by: Rich Rogers http://richrtesting.wordpress.com (@richrtesting) Distributed by: TestInsane Technologies Private Limited www.testinsane.com