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    7 Reasons to Understand Test Artifacts
    Aug 14 2023

    7 Reasons to Understand Test Artifacts

    The software development process has different kinds of notable byproducts. Code artifacts are among these tangible byproducts. Most software has artifacts that are necessary for proper functionality. But what exactly are artifacts in software?

    Code artifacts help other developers understand the thought process implemented in developing and testing software. A closer assessment of artifacts helps stakeholders understand how to proceed beyond the initial stages of software development and application.

    Software testers receive a range of documents during the software testing life cycle. These documents include test artifacts, which are then shared with stakeholders, team managers, and test teams.

    Code artifacts make it easy for developers to identify, track, and document changes in the software development process. Indeed, based on this initial understanding of artifacts, it’s clear that these are critical components in the software testing process. As such, this article answers “What are artifacts in software?” and their role in providing a high-quality app experience for users. 

    Understanding Test Artifacts

    Usually, a software development process involves numerous test reports sent to various stakeholders for varying purposes. The artifacts communicate the entire testing process to stakeholders better. The importance of test artifacts can never be underestimated, given how critical this part of the test process is to all the stakeholders. Here are some of the most fundamental reasons why you should understand test artifacts.

    1.   Future Planning

    Developing applications and software is a continuous process that encompasses progressive improvements. Understanding test artifacts is integral to the software testing process because it provides a basis for current and future testing protocols and possible improvements.

    The test teams should understand test artifacts since it’s on this basis that they are able to plan for better resource allocation in the future. Understanding test artifacts further help with planning the setup for the test environment.

    Most of the test results are a consequence of the precedent set during past test procedures. As such, QAs should understand test artifacts to ensure they can easily plan future procedures.

    2.   Understanding Test Artifacts Helps Save Time

    The efforts in actualizing the test procedure almost double when there’s a limited understanding of the test artifacts. A better understanding and appreciation of test artifacts help you save on time and overall effort used on specific projects.

    When test reports are readily available through test artifacts, it’s easy to access information and utilize it to complete the testing procedures and streamline the application from errors and issues.

    3.   Keep Track of Changes

    When undertaking software and app tests, changes will always occur, some anticipated while some coincidental. It may be impossible to track these changes in real time. One of the main reasons why you must understand artifacts is to ensure you achieve better control over changes in the software/applications.

    Artifacts are a perfect source of details on the changes occurring on a specific test matter. It then becomes possible for everyone interested in the test matter to check back and track any changes occurring in the test process.

    Artifacts help testers keep a record of the testing activities and procedures. This is useful since multiple tests could be undertaken for a single scenario. Artifacts may provide a better breakdown of each test outcome for more accessible future review.

    4.   Easy Feedback

    The software testing process encompasses a vast team of interested participants. Some are actual QAs, while others could be potential users without artifacts. It would be impossible for these teams to follow proceedings and offer their views on the tests’ progress and quality.

    When artifacts are available in the form of reports, other members and stakeholders can offer real-time feedback on the quality of the apps. This is important for the betterment of the product and the improvement of existing gray areas.

    5.   Eliminate Ambiguity and enhance Clarity

    One of the biggest challenges when undertaking mobile app testing is the risk of emergent ambiguities in the final product report. Most test results tend to have notable distractions stemming from the often-complex nature of testing.

    Such ambiguities may further cast aspersions on the quality of the process leading up to the results. With artifacts, it’s easy to eliminate such ambiguities. There’s often a level of clarity that comes with understanding artifacts that are unmatched.  App testers who understand artifacts often have an easier time handling any ambiguities that may arise along the way during the testing phase.

    6.   It Avails Knowledge Transfer among Team Members

    Artifacts are at the heart of the app testing and reporting process. As such, there could be loads of information that most team members need to understand when they fail to understand this critical component.

    When you understand artifacts, sharing experiences with team members and transferring knowledge within spaces that allow for collective growth becomes possible. When there’s a constant focus on understanding the changing scope of artifacts during the testing process, sharing knowledge and fostering a culture of sharing information and experience also becomes possible.

    7.   Enhances Better Decision Making

    Decisions are a crucial component when reporting during application development and testing. However, decisions often tend to be skewed due to insufficient information. The problem with bad decisions is that they eventually affect the ability to build up case studies or precedence for future applications.

    Understanding test artifacts makes the process of decision-making easier. When adequate documents with sufficient information are made available, it’s then easy for decision-makers to make informed decisions based on the available information.   Test articles describe the entire process from test coverage to execution. With details related to essentials and deliverables available, it becomes easy to focus on the decision-making phase with supportive documents.

    8.   Test Artifacts Act as Evidence of Testing

    Sometimes, testers may face a cloud of suspicion, which may question their consistency during the entire testing process. One of the best things about test artifacts is that they provide tangible evidence that testing occurred. As noted, artifacts are a byproduct of the software and app testing process.

     There can’t be byproducts without the actual testing process. As such, testers who need to prove that testing occurred can use artifacts as tangible evidence that the testing process occurred and that the results are authenticated.

    Types of Artifacts

    Different types of artifacts may emerge at different stages of the testing process.

    ·  Test strategy

    The project managers usually develop these. The strategy lists the details of the project in full. It covers test design, incremental stage, client communication, and processes.

    ·  Test Plans

    Test plans are another example of artifacts; these reports reference the testing process and all the aspects of the testing phase. These may include the scope of the project, the objective of the project, and the risk involved.

    ·  Test scenarios

    Test scenarios are the other artifacts that help testers develop successful end-user tests. Multiple test cases make up a test scenario.  The test scenario resolves the dilemmas in the real-life application of mobile applications.    

    ·  Test Cases

    After developing software, you also need to develop an execution framework. Test cases are an example of artifacts that details the test name, conditions for testing, and the step-by-step process of execution.

    Understanding Test Artifacts is Every Testers Priority

    The software development and testing process can only be problematic without a clear understanding of the scope, opportunities, and challenges that may emerge during the execution process.  Artifacts are a perfect solution for testers looking to understand the testing and reporting process.

    You can learn more about artifacts from Kobiton, or contact our experienced testers today and get to know us and what we do.