From the commencement of the software testing process to its closure, every stage during the process carries significant importance. Likewise, the test closure activities are an integral part of software testing life cycle (STLC), which are implemented once the process of testing is completed and the product is released for the use of the end user. Hence, let us understand the significance of test closure activities with the assistance of the following discussion.
What Do You Understand by Test Closure Activities?
Test Closure, which is the last stage of software testing life cycle, is a report that is prepared by the team manager or lead after the completion of software testing process. It is after the preparation of this report as well as after the release of the software, that the test closure activities are performed. The objective of performing these activities is to determine the actual outcomes and the impact of various testing activities executed on the software to ensure its quality. Moreover, it helps discern the facts and numbers about the testing activities performed during project cycle.
When are Test Closure Activities Performed?
Though, the test closure activities are mainly performed after the delivery of the software product; there are certain instances, scenarios, and conditions which mark the end of testing phases and hence, require the team to perform these closure activities. Few of these instances are:
When all the defects and imperfections, along with the relevant information, are identified.
Sometimes, when project is cancelled due to certain reasons.
When the specified objective or target is achieved by the team.
It is used when the maintenance or required changes are needed to be done.
When all the lessons learned while testing are completed & documented.
Types of Test Closure Activities:
Once the product is delivered to the client or is deployed to the live environment, the test closure activities are performed by the team to ensure the accuracy of testing and to deliver necessary deliverables to the client or user. Hence, the test closure activities comprises of four tasks, which are mentioned in detail below:
Validate Test Completion:
While performing this activity, the test team manager validates the completion of every test work and process. Sometimes, in the complex and intricate projects, few essential things are missed out. Thus, team manager is responsible to cross-check the various test plans, test cases, and strategies to ensure that nothing was left out during the course of testing. Moreover, all the known bugs and defects must be corrected, deferred, or should be acknowledged as a permanent limitation by the test manager.
Handing Over of Test Artifacts & Testware:
After the validation of test completion, relevant test artifacts and work products are delivered to the people who might need it in the future. The responsible team handovers all the vital information and testware to the concerned and authorized individuals, who offer support after product delivery and are tasked with making necessary changes.
Define Lessons Learnt:
The most important aspect of test closure activities is that it offers a chance to evaluate and record various lessons learnt from the software testing process as well as the software development life cycle (SDLC). From discussing the best practices and good processes, to eliminating various unfavourable processes, all things are considered for future reference. Other observations made here are:
Some important aspects like learning, experiencing, resolving issues, etc., which are noticed by the team leader that offers assistance in future for further processes.
There will be a possibility that test estimation for a project is misjudged or there may be a lack in skill-set, which leads to many problems in the identification of bugs.
There should be quality and risk analysis. If anyone finds a malicious defect in any integrated component, it is important to conduct risk analysis to overcome from such things.
There should be an efficiency check of software product to ensure about the improvements and changes.
Archiving Test Work:
Finally, the team is tasked to archive all the important and relevant test work product and documents, such as test logs, test report, test cases, test results, test plans, and more in configuration management system. Both test plan and project plan should also be stored in the planning archive and there must be a significant linkage between system and the version which is being used. Lastly, the test execution reports should be properly linked to the version of the product.
Benefits of Performing Test Closure Activities:
From the above discussion, it is quite clear that performing test closure activities is not only beneficial for the testing team, but is also profitable for validating the quality of the software product. Hence, some of the other benefits of performing test closure activities are:
It checks whether the planned deliverables are actually delivered or not and validates if all sorts of bug as reported in bug report got resolved or not.
It evaluates number of possible outcomes achieved in the whole process, which creates positive impact in the execution of future integrations.
The test optimizes test scripts and test environments which need to be finalized for the usability of end-users.
It helps evaluate and analyze the process of testing and the lessons learnt for development & testing.
Allows test managers to deliver important artifacts and testwares to the concerned individuals.
Things to Consider:
While conducting the test closure activities, the test manager or lead needs to ensure that following aspects are considered and are not left out in any case, as they can hinder the validation of software quality as well as inhibit them to deliver necessary details about the software. These are:
Report the good practices for future reference.
List all the poor practices to avoid in future.
Include the overall performance of the testing team.
Prepare detailed, yet brief test summary report.
Mention any potential process improvements.
Inculcate effective analysis of trends.
Being one of the most important activities performed during software development life cycle, test closure activities offer numerous advantages to the team of testers as well as the organization, for which the software is developed. From evaluating each and every software testing process to the analyzing the software for defects, with the assistance of test closure activities, the team lead or manager easily validates the quality of testing as well as the software.