Guide for Writing an Effective Test Summary Report

A test summary report is a formal document that allows you to summarize all of the testing efforts for a particular testing cycle, module, or sub-module. It’s usually the test managers that prepare this document at the end of the testing cycle, and there are some that even prepare it at the end of the project.

It’s best that these are made after the completion of every test cycle as it will allow you to better prepare the correct summary of the testing effort that can be presented to stakeholders. So this article will focus on how you can write a proper test summary that you can be proud of.

Sections that should be included in a test summary report

  • Title. This should show the name of the project as well as an informative description regarding the project’s title.
  • Unique identifier. Each test summary report should have a unique identifier that should be associated with each particular testing cycle. With the help of the unique identifier, it will make tracing these particular testing cycles much easier.
  • Objective. This part should be able to describe  and explain the main activities that took place during the testing process. This part also includes a short description of what type of testing was conducted.
  • Description of the application. This part should have a particular description regarding the application that was being tested. The main goal is to give the readers a brief review of the application. So it should share information regarding the application’s goals and the business case behind its testing.
  • References. Add any important links to all the documentation that was used while testing. So if some links came from a business website, for example, then be sure to mention them in the report.
  • Resource allocation. Make a short description of all the resources that you’ve used during the testing process. This description should provide the name and title, area of responsibility, and time spent during the project, as well as the planned and unplanned resource modifications that took place during the project.
  • Application testing scope. This section should summarize the modules/features that were both tested and untested by the testing teams. Basically, you’re trying to get the reader to understand the  areas that were covered in the testing process and the ones that were not. You’ll have to think about things such as the application of individual components, the integration among the application contents, main flows that have been tested, and the reason why a module was not tested.
  • Testing activities. You must be able to define the testing methodologies and activities that were done during the testing process. This part will be even more efficient if you include the basic information of each of these activities and methodologies.
  • Defect statistics and related information. This should be where you place the statistics regarding any defects that you were able to find during the testing process. This should allow the reader to understand the text execution results. Be sure that your report covers things like the number of defects based on their severity, defects that were not fixed in the current version, the number of defects based on their statuses, and much more.
  • Testing tools. You’re going to have to add a short description which states the type of third-party testing tool you used during the tests.
  • Test environments. This should show the test environments that were used by the testing team during the testing process. So this area should include the details regarding the environment configurations, the environment availability during the project, and the details regarding any special configuration.
  • Definition and approval of the exit criteria. This part should have a description about the testing exit criteria that was determined at the beginning of the testing project. The main point of this area is to show that all of the conditions have been met and fulfilled.

Advantages of test summary reports

  • All of the relevant stakeholders will be able to see the health of the application undergoing testing. This will be a big help for when you have to conduct a stakeholder analysis.
  • It will help make sure that all of the necessary steps will be taken proactively, assuming that this is required.
  • The test summary report should be able to justify the testing methods and efforts that the testing team is using during the project.
  • The report can help build a more mature testing process in the future.

Things to note while preparing the test summary report

  • Collect all of the required information on the type of testing that was performed. This should help with making a high quality test summary report.
  • Explain in great detail regarding the responsibility that was taken to solve certain issues that occurred during the testing phase. Also, this can be used for other projects to help people avoid these issues.
  • Mentioning the relevant metrics in graphic form, such as through the use of charts and graphs, is a great  way for you to visually represent the status and the date of the testing project.
  • Remember that the test summary report should mention and explain the activities that took place during the testing period, so be sure that you place all of them in the report.

You’re going to have to remember that a test summary report is a very important document as you’re going to be sharing this with various stakeholders such as clients or even senior managers. That means that you’re going to have to make sure that you’ve made one that was able to include all of the information above. So be sure to take note of what you need in a test summary report so that you’ll be able to write one that stakeholders will be happy with.

If you would like to get more detailed information regarding test summary reports, or if you would like to make other types of them, then you can view our other available articles that should provide you with both the information and templates of summary reports that should be able to help you.