The Testing Status Dashboard

The Dashboard

One thing that I've been getting asked more than it should've is "How is the testing going?", "What's left to test?", "What bugs are open?". In this piece of writing, we'll talk about the general way in which you can show the team and other parts of the business the status of project(s).

In my previous post, I talk about the tester being the the light int he dark. Imagine those midnight drives where you can not see more than a few metres in front of you. As the tester, you are the headlight that shows the way in how the project is progressing. So as the headlights what do you show the team? Below is a non-definitive list of what you show

  • What is being tested
  • The progress on testing
  • Bugs you've found
  • Some suggestions on how to improve the user experience and workflow
  • Testing blockers - What is blocking you from testing?
  • What information you need to do a more thorough test?

As the tester, it is your responsibility to give your team information on the project. Let's say, there's a ticket that's been marked as "Ready for Testing" in JIRA, however, there has been no discussion between the tester and developer on: what the ticket is about, why are we doing it, when this ticket is released what will it mean? It could be that the product manager has decided to expedite this ticket without your knowledge which is fine.

Whatever the case, you should be obliged to remind the team of certain processes that are essential so that we become a more effective team. In this case, you have a some metrics to show that when there are discussions on test scenarios before development starts finds more questions on the specifications and less bugs are found during the testing phase. The team should not be making the same mistakes when they've already happened.

The Dashboard

The dashboard is a chart on a whiteboard or an excel sheet that anyone in the team can look at to show the status of a project at a glance. 

The dashboard that we use contain the following

  • The name of the project
  • The area to be tested
  • Testing time required
  • Quality
    • Green for 'Good'
    • Amber for 'In Progress'
    • Red for 'Bug or more information needed'
  • Comment

I typically update this dashboard at the end of the day and after a standup when priorities might get switched around. When the product manager wants quicker updates (typically when the deadline is looming), I update them as each area gets covered or tested.

Understand that these dashboards will vary across companies as different people would like to see different information. Here is an example:

 


This piece of writing was inspired by a part of the book that I keep rereading - Lessons Learned in Software Testing: A Context-Driven Approach


Happy Testing!

 

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