An Insight Into The Differences Between Test Scenario and Test Case
Approximately half a dozen years back, during my tenure in a mid-sized MNC, I pitched the thought of documenting test scenarios as opposed to investing energy in elaborative test case documents. The suggestion, much to my dismay, was greeted with disapproval from my peers.
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The looks on their faces clearly communicated their objection to my idea. Although nobody outrightly dismissed it, nor did anyone wholeheartedly embrace it. It appeared as if everybody felt more at ease sticking to the conventional method of drafting test case documents. I couldn’t contest their decision.
Fast forward to 4 years later, our organization undertook a testing assignment that demanded meticulous examination within strict timeline constraints.
In the middle of a meeting, we were collectively contemplating strategies to meet the challenging deadline. The task primarily involved searching and generating different reports through a variety of menu items. It became evident that the creation of test case documents would considerably devour our time, and we were uncertain of how much importance the client affixed to the document.
I mooted the idea of documenting test scenarios, and following some initial reluctance, everyone conceded. This resolution enabled us to devote the time saved from documentation to actual testing.
Here’s What You’ll Learn:
Are Test Scenarios Gradually Replacing Test Cases?
As the wheel of time turns, the landscape of the software industry and its processes have witnessed transformative changes.
The customary Waterfall and V-models are being replaced by their agile and iterative counterparts. Documentation remains crucial, but its execution can be tailored to meet deadlines and augment the efficacy and transparency of the process.
When Is Test Cases Documentation Crucial?
- When the client explicitly demands it as an integral part of the project.
- When there is no constraint on time (although this is highly improbable).
- When the testers are novices to the product and require detailed guidance.
- When the company policy makes it obligatory (though I maintain this can be subject to change).
Allow me to recount an experience:
My team and I were assigned the task of testing a project from a Fortune 500 firm, with a fairly flexible timeline. We compiled the test cases using the best accessible template and secured the client’s approval.
Once the builds began rolling out to the QA team, our days revolved around mechanically following 100 test cases, updating the document with pass/fail outcomes, and dispatching it to the client by the end of the day. Few of the team members began finding the work dreary, yet it was bringing in revenue for the company.
Nevertheless, there arrived a day when there wasn’t a new build to test. We held a meeting to decide how to spend our day. When I suggested brainstorming to enhance the test case document, the team dismissed the idea, citing that we had already considered all critical scenarios. Persuading them into thinking creatively and exploring fresh ideas was a bit of a challenge.
Often, once test cases are documented and authorized, our minds cease considering alternate testing methods. Instead, we get stuck in the rut of systematically following the documented test cases. How frequently in your career have you or your colleagues proposed additional test cases apart from the approved ones?
Here’s one more instance:
During a weekly team activity, we presented an application and asked the team to suggest test scenarios.
Even the ordinarily reticent members came forward with ideas. The absence of formal documentation demanding them to supply expected results for every function sequence and precondition for each test case was a huge contributor. In one day, we gathered 40 test scenarios, marking a successful endeavor.
In view of my experience, here is an illustration.
Imagine a basic application like a login page, equipped with fields for username, password, and login and cancel buttons. If tasked with writing test cases for this situation, we’d create over 50 test cases, intertwining multiple options and specifics.
However, if we were to draft test scenarios, it could be as straightforward as this:
Overall Scenario: Login Functionality
1. Examine Application Launch
2. Inspect Text Contents on the Login Page
3. Validate Username Field
4. Authenticate Password Field
5. Confirm Functionality of Login and Cancel Buttons
You May Also Like => 180+ Exemplar Test Scenarios for Assessing Web and Desktop Applications.
In our rapid-paced milieu, test scenarios act as a lifesaver, offering immediate respite, much like the vintage IODEX.
Contrasting Test Scenario and Test Case in a Table Format
In conclusion, let’s highlight the distinguishing factors between a Test Scenario and a Test Case:
|A concept that provides granular information on what to test, the procedure to be executed and the expected outcomes.
|A concept that offers a succinct snapshot of what necessitates testing.
|Centers on documenting minutiae.
|Centers on contemplating and deliberating over details.
|Critical when testing happens offshore while development occurs onsite. Comprehensive test cases facilitate coordination between development and QA teams.
|Vital when time is of the essence and team members can easily infer details from a single scenario statement.
|One-time recording of all test cases is useful for tracking future extensive regression testing rounds.
Often useful in bug reporting, as testers can cite test case IDs instead of stating every detail.
|Time-saving and fosters idea generation, preferred by the emerging generation of software testing professionals.
Easy to alter and augment, without being tied to a single individual.
In a comprehensive project where different members are conversant with specific modules, test scenarios stimulate teamwork and thought-sharing.
|Advantageous to =>
|An exhaustive test case document is a boon for novice testers.
|Test scenarios enable better test coverage while minimizing repetitiveness and complexity within the product.
|Time and resource-intensive, as it demands comprehensive detailing of what and how to test.
|When penned by a specific person, reviewers or other users might not fully comprehend the intended ideas, necessitating more discussions and team collaboration.
Test cases hold a pivotal role in the Software Development Life Cycle, devoid of which tracking, comprehending, adhering to, and justifying testing efforts turn formidable. Nonetheless, in the era of agile, test scenarios are swiftly assuming the place of test cases.
A standardized test checklist for varied types of testing (like database testing, GUI testing, and functionality testing), supplemented with test scenarios, has become the current vanguard for software testers. Through open dialogues, training, asking pertinent questions, and continual practice, you can greatly step up your productivity and the quality of your bug disclosure.
We welcome your observations and inquiries as always. Stay tuned for more.