Why requirements test coverage is key to success?
Updated by Tatiana Glazkova on June 23th, 2021
Requirements are an essential element of every software development process. These are the requirements that determine how the process will look and what quality criteria a given system, module or specific functionality has to match. Developers implement solutions and testers design tests on the basis of the information included in requirements. If requirements are clear and well-defined, the testers can start writing tests at the early stage of software development – when the solution is still under construction.
Major challenges for IT teams
According to the survey conducted among 150+ software development companies by GoodFirms, the major challenge for an IT team is adapting and meeting customers’ changing requirements (53.8% of the participants mentioned it). 17.7% of the surveyed companies noted that they regularly have to face problems with performance management and testing. Moreover, about 8.9% of developers point to a misunderstanding in the customers’ requirements, as the latter are not confident enough in their requirements.
GoodFirms, The survey conducted among 150+ software development companies
Covering requirements is a process that allows you to control how many requirements have been developed by testers, what types of tests have been designed, and how much is still needed to be done before the requirements are ready for execution. If you’re working with numerous requirements, a coverage report can save you time by getting the information you need quickly, rather than checking each requirement separately.
Approaching testing with requirements doesn’t mean that you will only design tests on the basis of requirements, but also that you will be checking requirements themselves at the stage when they are formulated.
By doing that, you’ll be able to eliminate mistakes that could soon turn out to be very costly. You will also be able to tell whether the requirements are complete, straightforward, testable, and coherent.
In the next stage of your work – preparing and verifying requirements – you will be adding test cases. It’s smart to do that before your software is ready. That way, when the first version of the application is delivered, you will save up a lot of time and go straight to testing, planning the next test cycles in advance.
Each of your tests should be closely related to a requirement. Without that, you won’t be able to access the coverage of a given requirement by your test and verify which tests have already been designed. This information is critical to learning at what stage you are in your process.
Note: Tests need to realize business aspects of requirements and always focus on user expectations regarding the application.
How do you know that you have reached an adequate level of coverage when it comes to testing its requirements?
That question is tough to answer. In fact, the answer to this question probably doesn’t exist, especially if you’re talking about testing at the functional level and not the code level. This is quite a subjective aspect that needs to be assessed on the basis of characteristics such as the priority or risk of a given requirement.
You can assume that every requirement that describes a business need has to have at least one test designed for it that checks the so-called positive path. However, you often want to test a broader scope that includes alternative paths.
The fact of the requirement test coverage doesn’t really tell you much, especially when you assume that a requirement is covered by at least one test. That’s why it’s a good idea to look at each requirement separately.
While one test may be sufficient in one case, another requirement may demand a different scope of test design. Test analysts will need to use their experience and knowledge of business needs to determine if tests designed for specific requirements are comprehensive enough.
Checking coverage with Jira reports
Checking the coverage of each requirement individually can be quite tricky – especially if you’re working with a version that contains dozens of them. When looking through requirements coverage, you probably want to have a quick view of particular requirements and their related tasks, as well as access to the most important information like the name or status of a given test and requirement.
What is particularly important here are the requirements that have not been covered. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you plan the next test cycle or, even worse, execute it, and it turns out that a part of the requirements has not been tested.
Before starting the test execution phase, you need to be sure that the range of tests for a given version is complete.
That’s where Jira Software comes in. By using it, you can save requirements in the form of issues. And by taking advantage of applications available on the Atlassian Marketplace, you can expand the functionalities of Jira Software to cover test management as well.
TestFLO allows defining a complete testing process, including test case creation and linking to the requirements. To verify the requirements coverage, there are two reports. They are a Requirement Test Coverage report and a Requirement Traceability one.
The Requirement Test Coverage report shows the connection between the two object types, Requirements and Tests, and allows displaying all the requirements together with their attributes such as status or summary. The requirements can be filtered using its version or other saved filters.
TestFLO – Requirement Test Coverage Report
The Requirement Traceability report analyzes requirements vs tests vs execution of these tests vs reported errors. In other words, it gives you an overall picture of the requirements testing efforts in a release. Moreover, in TestFLO you can filter out requirements that have and haven’t been covered.
TestFLO – Requirement Traceability report
The Traceability Matrix provides the ability to compare any two basic requirement types on a many-to-many basis. However, it’s used not only to check the coverage of Requirements but to compare two different types of test objects with each other to check their relationship. It means you can check the coverage of Test Cases by Test Plans, Test Plans by Test Executions, etc. The report also shows the number of Requirements covered by the Test Case and the percentage of those covered by all of them.
Traceability Matrix in RTM
As for the Requirement Coverage report in RTM, it keeps track of whether the Requirements are covered by any of the other attributes provided in the application.
Requirement Coverage report in RTM
Building software on the basis of previously defined requirements is a popular approach because it allows you to quickly identify bugs and design tests that are closely related to a given requirement. That type of process helps teams to verify the real business needs of users efficiently and measure the rate of requirements coverage as well.
Requirements coverage is a useful factor that shows how many requirements have been covered and what types of tests were written for them. By assessing requirements coverage, you can tell whether you can start test execution for a given version or still need to design some more tests. Naturally, you can avoid the situation where particular requirements are never tested.
RTM and TestFLO allow comfortable monitoring of the requirements together with the tests related to them. The requirements and tests are equipped with the most important attributes to enable easier verification. The ability to filter out the requirements makes the entire process of looking for information in the applications even more straightforward. Go ahead, choose a better option of our applications for you, and get a demo version for free for 30 days.
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