Chapter 5. Managing Test Cases: The Test Tracking Spreadsheet

Quick! For your last three test projects, answer the following questions:

  • How many test cases did you plan to run?

  • How many test cases did you actually run?

  • How many tests failed? Of those, how many later passed when the bug was fixed?

  • Did the tests take less or more time, on average, than you expected?

  • Did you skip any tests? If so, why?

  • Did you tests cover all the important risks to system quality?

  • Did your management ever ask for a cumulative summary of test results, both passed and failed? If so, did you provide an accurate summary, or did you take a SWAG (scientific wild-ass guess)?

On any given project, I can answer these questions by checking my test tracking spreadsheet, a tool I use to manage test execution. This chapter shows you how to create and utilize this tool.

In its most basic form, the test tracking spreadsheet is a "to do" list, with the added capability of status tracking. Using DataRocket as a case study, this chapter demonstrates how to build an abbreviated test tracking spreadsheet for system testing. We'll begin our example with a minimalist, or stripped-down, model of the spreadsheet. As you learn to add enhancements and to adapt this tool to fit your own needs, you should eventually be able to implement a complete set of test tracking and reporting capabilities using the spreadsheet as the foundation. As you'll see, you can also integrate individual test cases constructed with the approach outlined ...

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