Why and How to Write Test Cases

Why and How to Write Test Cases

As the world becomes more digital, delivering quality digital services is no longer a nice-to-have, but an essential requirement for nearly every organization. A key component to delivering great applications, websites, and more is well-written test cases.

From retail to healthcare, organizations are adopting digital services like websites, applications, chatbots, IoTs, and more to best serve their customers. Software testing plays a major role in one’s ability to deliver high-quality digital services. While the exact method and strategies can differ based on the nature of the product and/or project, the ability to produce thorough test cases is key to guaranteeing the quality of digital services.

What is a Test Case?

ISTQB defines a test case as a set of preconditions, inputs, actions (where applicable), expected results and postconditions, developed based on test conditions

In the context of functional testing, test cases serve as step-by-step instructions that testers follow to validate a specific functionality. The test cases also provide information that allows testers to determine whether the functionality passes or fails the test.

Grouped into test suites, tests cases are commonly associated with scenario testing methodology.

The Benefits of Test Cases

An organization’s ability to offer innovative functionalities and an excellent user experience is often impacted by the strength of its testing approach. Having well-written test cases makes all the difference in allowing IT teams to improve the quality and better manage the project overall.

Save Time

Having clear test cases that are easy to understand takes less time to review and execute. Since test cases are written by the lead tester, QA manager, or project manager, instead of the actual testers, providing clear and straightforward testing instructions will save team members from having to hold meetings or send multiple emails to clarify any vague or confusing points.  

Increase Test Coverage

Since each test case is designed to cover a specific functionality, having a robust test suite helps to expand test coverage. Furthermore, reusable test cases also allow for an expanded test coverage by executing the test case using different configurations such as web browsers, operating systems, etc.

Uncover Issues during SDLC

When writing test cases, it is important to document both positive and negative scenarios. Providing this information requires a complete understanding of the product or service being tested, which can proactively shed light on any functionality or design gaps.

How to Write a Test Case

Whether testing an application or SaaS, it is important for test cases to fully reflect the functionalities that need to be tested. Here are some key elements to include when writing test cases.

  • Test Name: The name of the test case that describes the functionality that will be tested.
  • Test ID: Usually a series of numbers or combination of letters and numbers that testers use to group test cases into test suites.
  • Objective: Also referred to as the description, this component details what the test case will validate.
  • References: Links to your user stories and the design specifications or requirements that the test must verify.
  • Requirements: All the conditions necessary to execute the test case.
  • Configurations: This component identifies what the test case needs to work properly, such as the application version, operating system, date and time requirements, and security specifications.
  • Test Steps: Detailed descriptions of the sequential actions that must be performed to complete the test. These steps provide key instructions to the testers.
  • Expected Result: An explanation of how the feature or system should react. Having this makes it easier for testers to determine if the functionality meet or failed to meet its expectations.

4 Key Test Case Tips to Follow                           

1) Check that each test case has only one objective

To maximize the quality of the entire test suite, verify that each test case is designed to test one functionality. Doing so will help to ensure the accuracy of the test results.

2) Write detailed and efficient test cases

The best test cases are those that are very easy to understand and straightforward. Be sure to avoid creating test cases that include any unnecessary test steps or language that is difficult to understand or can be easily misinterpreted.

3) Request relevant information, do not make assumptions

When creating the Test suite, avoid making assumptions or guesses when information is unclear. In these instances, it is far better to contact a team member in order to get the right information and avoid unnecessary mistakes later down the road.

4) Never lose sight of the end-user

It is important to remember that the whole reason for creating test cases is to produce better products for the end-user. As such, each test suite and subsequent test cases must be written with the end-user in mind, with particular attention paid to the ways the product will be used.

To learn more about testing applications, websites, or any other digital service, do not hesitate to download our white paper: Why and How to Test in the Era of Digital Transformation.

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