Agile Test Case Management : The Problem and The Solution

The Problem

One of the most common and biggest mistakes QA teams make is to use all test cases for regression. This includes obsolete test cases to the regression test suite and increases the future demand for test case management. This is because testers create the test cases from a user story during a sprint. Test cases are important and valid for testing during that sprint – when the sprint ends, test cases are moved into a bucket that includes all test cases from previous sprints.

With piled-up tests, teams find a massive amount of test cases including invalid tests and duplicate test cases when full regression comes due. Teams usually have a limited time to execute full regression and decide which tests are to be executed. Executing wrong test cases can waste a lot of time and lengthen the time needed to complete the regression.

The Solution

Teams need to be proactive. Take time out to manage regression test cases within each sprint. The changes for each user story will fall into one or more of the following categories:

Add Tests

When a major functionality is added, the tests created for the sprint testing should be added to the regression set. The significance of the feature or functionality will determine where the test will be added. A high-level feature should be added to both smoke and regression testing. Tests are usually added by default. Be sure to avoid duplication.

Update Tests

In the case of an updated workflow, creating new test cases is not important. Simply edit the tests, pull the tests for the functionality in the regression suite into the sprint, and update to match the new behavior or workflow. Writing a new test instead of updating the earlier one causes duplication in regression. And if it is done repetitively, it can cause major problems when you start regression testing. Do not forget to update the existing test case and original test at the source before pulling it into the sprint test plan.

Remove Tests

Sometimes, removing a feature that is no longer in use is the best solution. Remove unneeded details and avoid wasting resources. A new tester will not know the product’s history. He will be entering invalid bugs if he is assigned a set of obsolete regression test cases. This wastes the time of the entire team, from new tester to product team and senior tester, who must communicate the reason for the bug being invalid.

Do Nothing

User stories that simply adjust text, color scheme, or an image should have test cases created in sprint testing. These are valid tests that don’t belong in the regression suite and may need to be executed each time the software is deployed to a new environment. Frequently changing and untouched elements are not useful in regression or sanity testing. In this case, leave these tests in the sprint folder for historical purposes after the sprint is completed.

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Scott Andery is a senior Marketing Consultant and technical writer at Daily Tech Times. He has worked with different industries. He started his career with one of the consulting company based in New York. Scott has 10+ years of experience in technical writing & marketing.

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