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I know that test scenarios, test cases and checklists are different things and are important for testing. I've landed a job as a QA in startup that's adopted scrum methodology and is fast paced. Mostly, the projects are web based with rich & complex features.

So... is it important for me to create super complex test cases (which might be waste of time, because I've been assigned to four projects to handle by myself), or is it better to create simple yet detailed test scenarios and checklist?

Most of my friends that have worked with different companies but similar types of project didn't implement test cases in their testing documentation.

Also, please share any references from books or websites about creating simple test cases for web applications. Thank you so much.

  • As you are handling four project. It may be not possible to you to write complex test cases. So write detailed test cases with check points. – Abhishek SIngh Mar 7 '17 at 7:13
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Different companies expect different things... so try not to look to your friends projects for comparison. Someone who works in Financial Technology is going to have different requirements to someone who works in Retail, for example.

Without trying to give the "it depends" answer - you need to ask the business a few things to help yourself and set their expectations:

  • Who will be executing the test cases? If it's yourself, then they will look different if someone else will be executing them.
  • What does the business want? Are they okay with simple or do they need complex/detailed cases?
  • Why (always ask why!) does the business need simple or complex tests?
  • Where will the test cases be stored, and how will they be delivered?
  • Is the company bound by a governing body, and therefore needing more detailed test cases for auditing?

I haven't got any references for you, this is just out of experience. Some companies love detailed test cases and reporting for progress and metrics (and, if you're contracting, they'll be keen to re-use the tests when you're gone), whilst others couldn't care less and just want to know whether the system works or not.

Hope this helps! It's really down to you and the company you work for.

  • Thanks for detailed explanation! 1st, Im the one that would be executing the test cases. There's one more QA here but we assigned on different project. 2nd, They never told me what they want actually.. my vp engineering only told me to create test scenario for usability test and so i don't know whether they want complex or simple. 3rd, Can you please give me example about simple formatted test case? 4rd, i always stored it on google drive. 5th, i think not. no test cases for auditing so far. I've been thinking about that too.. documentation that i would make will be useful! – Mega S Mar 7 '17 at 9:01
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    It sounds like they trust you to do what you see fit then. If you're executing them, there's no level of detail request from the business, and no need for complex tests for auditing... I'd suggest putting together a simple spreadsheet of Action vs Expected Outcome (i.e., If I click this, I expect that to happen) and then a Pass, Fail or N/A test result. My suggestion would be to go for simple tests first (especially if you're pushed for time) and only expand on them if the business ask you to. – trashpanda Mar 7 '17 at 9:01
  • Oh i see, i got it. I already created test case sheet that filled with steps and expected result for each of steps. It took one day for me to complete just for one scenario and there still a lot. I just got request from my vp engineering to make a checklist standard for general web-based project. I'm worrying that i only spend the whole day for documentation and not testing haa.. thanks for answering again! – Mega S Mar 7 '17 at 10:47
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    In an agile environment, you should be in constant contact with the team and together you should decide how deep you want to go in testing. In some cases you might not even want to write more than very high-level testcases i.e. "Log on to the application and perform X" and then when you're doing a testrun, you detail exactly which actions you performed step-by-step and what the results were. – Cronax Mar 7 '17 at 15:24
  • Hi @Cronax, so what do you mean is i don't need to write down the test case with expected result for each step right? Just the whole results from high level test case?? i might bit confuse because test cases example that spread around google are all about detailed test case, to explain the expected result for every step. It takes much time though for me that handling four projects in a time. Thanks for the response! – Mega S Mar 7 '17 at 15:39
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The projects are web based with rich & complex features and adopted scrum methodology and is fast paced.

  • Rich & complex features can always be broken down into smaller & simpler test cases.
  • As you stated, if development is fast paced, so should be testing; but it still takes time to deliver a complex feature piece by piece, which means you can plan your complex tests piece by piece.

So... is it important for me to create super complex test cases (which might be waste of time, because I've been assigned to four projects to handle by myself), or is it better to create simple yet detailed test scenarios and checklist?

  • You may find create simple yet detailed test scenarios and checklist for four projects will eat up lots of time as well.
  • Instead of writing a super complex test case that tests everything, is it possible to write a high level abstract test plan / guideline?

Also, please share any references from books or websites about creating simple test cases for web applications.

  • Thanks for detailed answer! Yeah, about high level abstract test plan / guideline? Well, i would do research about test plan. I didn't make any test plan yet. Thanks for the references list! – Mega S Mar 7 '17 at 9:05
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Before answering this question, following things have to be looked into.

  • Is there any organisational guidelines/ need ?
  • Who is the end user of the test case (person new to product or experienced)?
  • what are the timelines available for testing and documentation of the same?
  • Does client needs the same for reference or user training?

Detailed Test cases should be documented when organisation/ client asks for the same or the person testing is 'new' to the application. These are beneficial during regression tests, the tester can refer to the test case ID rather than putting in every minute detail in the defect encountered. Also, there is lesser change of missing any use case for test later. But these are time consuming.

Test scenarios are recommended when the project has strict timeline, every tester understand the application and is able to apply the test scenarios without any guidance. But, the idea behind the test scenario written by one may not sync with the idea of the other person which may lead to missing some use cases.

In your case, weigh the benefits of the both and choose.

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