Workflow Test Management Part II: Test procedure

A translation workflow system is usually tested on different levels e.g. installation test level, performance test level, smoke test level, functional test level etc.

Though performance and smoke tests are important as they ensure the system’s basic functionality, a substantial part of the allocated time and resources should be given to the functional tests, which are – in a perfect world – planned and performed by the specialists who specified the functions to be tested. Often the IT-department will manage the test project or sub project and monitor the whole test process.

Test handbook, concept, scenarios and cases

The classical test procedure consists of the creation of a test handbook as well as test concepts, scenarios and cases. The test handbook defines test targets and error classes (e.g. from fatal error = system use impossible to light error = system use slightly more difficult). A well-written test handbook is worth its weight in gold and can be used for all software test procedures of your company or unit when standardized accordingly.

The test concept defines test scope, procedures, resources and time planning of the testing and approval phase. Without a test concept accepted by your supplier it will be very difficult to discuss test results later if these don’t meet your expectations and requirements. Test scenarios organize your test cases in function-groups and provide a logical story for your testers to follow.

Test plan structure

Screenshot: Test Plan Structure

Test cases and documentation

Test cases usually come with all the information required to both perform the test (category, requirements, test steps and order of performance, expected behavior) and to report the results (actual behavior, status, etc.). All test documentation can either happen in a test management system or (e.g. for smaller volumes) in Excel or Word. With access granted to all relevant participants, a test management system gives the possibility to report errors directly to the supplier. In every case, it is useful to have an overview of the test progress at any time.

Test case creation HP QC

Screenshot: Test case creation with Hewlett Packard (HP) Quality Center


It is advisable to have an adequate number of able testers available, depending on the quantity of test cases and time available for testing. For several people testing at the same time (to save time), the test environment needs to allow parallel testing.

Read more about the different testing phases up to going live in the next – and last – part of this series.

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