How Quality Assurance Testers Can Make Requirement Documentation Better

What are Software Requirements?

Software requirements identify the why, what and how of a business' application. They are the building blocks upon which a software is developed. For QA testers, requirements are the basis of test cases and QA analysts review requirements to check if they are SMART i.e. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Testable. So, QA testers should be a part of general requirements engineering (i.e. gathering, analysis, prioritizing, reviews / inspections).

Key Factors QA testers Should Consider While Looking at Requirements

Requirements Attributes

Requirements attributes are characteristics of requirements that define whether requirements are clear, complete, correct, prioritized, concise and testable.

Requirements Acceptance Criteria

Acceptance criteria determine the scope and requirements that must be executed by developers to consider the user story finished. QA testers should be able to tell whether a solution completely satisfies a requirement. These criteria will make requirements measurable.

Requirements Rules

To write a good or high quality requirement, a requirements rule set should be defined.

Some examples are:

  • Requirement shall be unambiguous / clear so that others can understand it well
  • Requirement shall have a priority set based on its importance to business and project goals
  • Requirement shall be relevant i.e. it addresses the scope of the project
  • Requirement shall be unique i.e. no two similar requirements because they may contradict each other

Requirements Templates

Templates provide consistency and are ideal for capturing requirements for any project.

Agile user stories typically follow this format: ā€œAs a [role], I want [goal] so that [benefit]ā€ e.g. As a user, I want to see recent related articles at the bottom of the article Iā€™m reading so that I can continue to explore the same topic. These featured articles should be about the same topic as the article Iā€™m reading so it feels relevant, timely, and related to my interest.

Other common templates include:

  • Content author shall be able to add banner on the page
  • Users shall be able to login to their account and pay utility bill

Requirements Reviews

A requirements review is a process that involves people from both client and vendor organizations. They check the requirements document for any anomalies and omissions. Reviews, if well executed, are most effective to find defects. The purpose of a requirements review is to ensure that:

  • The product will meet the needs of the customer
  • All stakeholders understand what is required
  • The product can be built within the given budget and time
  • No contradictions or gaps in the requirements

In Agile methodology, the QA tester is more involved in requirements than ever before and takes part in all the project and development activities.

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Meet Ashwinder Kaur

Quality Assurance Lead

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Ashwinder, aka "Ash" is a Quality Assurance Lead dedicated to ensuring high-quality products. She has a Bachelor's of Computer Science & Engineering ad more than 7 years of QA experience under her belt. Ash loves to spend time with her family, sightseeing (especially the Rocky Mountains), and enjoys solving math problems with her son.

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