Test processes determine whether the development products of a given activity conform to the requirements of that activity and whether the system and/or software satisfies its intended use and user needs. The scope of testing encompasses software-based systems, computer software, hardware, and their interfaces.

829-2008 – IEEE Standard for Software and System Test Documentation, is an IEEE standard that specifies the form of a set of documents for use in eight defined stages of software testing, each stage potentially producing its own separate type of document.

Software quality assurance test documentation includes:

Test Design Specification
The test design is the first stage in developing the tests for software testing projects. It records what needs to be tested, and is derived from the documents that come into the testing stage, such as requirements and designs. It records which features of a test item are to be tested, and how a successful test of these features would be recognized.

The test design does not record the values to be entered for a test, but describes the requirements for defining those values.

This document is very valuable, but is often missing on many projects. The reason is that people start writing test cases before they have decided what they are going to test.

IEEE 829 Test Design Specification Template

Test Design Specification Identifier
• Specify the unique identifier assigned to this test procedure. Supply a reference to the associated test procedure specification. The naming convention should follow the same general rules as the software it is related, for coordinating software versions within configuration management.
• Unique “short” name for the case
• Version date and version number of the case
• Version Author and contact information
• Revision history

Features to be Tested
The set of test objectives covered by this test design specification. It is the overall purpose of this document to group related test items together.
• Features
• Attributes and Characteristics
• Groupings of features
• Level of testing appropriate to test item if this test design specification covers more that
one level of testing
• Reference to the original documentation where this test objective (feature) was obtained.

Approach Refinements
Add the necessary level of detail and refinement based on the original approach defined in
the test plan associated with this test design specification.
• Selection of specific test techniques
• Reasons for technique selection
• Method(s) for results analysis
• Tools etc.
• Relationship of the test items/features to the levels of testing
• Summarize any common information that may relate to multiple test cases or procedures.
Centralizing common information reduces document size, and simplifies maintenance.
• Shared Environment
• Common setup/recovery
• Case dependencies

Test Identification
• Identification of each test case with a short description of the case, it’s test level or any
other appropriate information required to describe the test relationship.
• Identification of each test procedure with a short description of the case, it’s test level or
any other appropriate information required to describe the test relationship.

Feature Pass/Fail Criteria
Describe the criteria for assessing the feature or set of features and whether the test(s) were successful of not.


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