XING is the social network for business professionals. They are building and running a platform for over 12 million users where professionals from all kinds of industries can meet up, find jobs, connect with colleagues, find new assignments, identify business partners, seek out experts and generate new business ideas.

The challenges with quality assurance at XING

XING develops their social networking platform using Atlassian JIRA. In order to make work in progress more transparent, they track the progress of their user stories within JIRA. The testers are part of the development teams at XING. But it isn’t just the QA team responsible for the quality of the product – developers and testers collaborate to achieve the best possible tests for each user story.

The QA team at XING was trying to use a documentation software for creating their test cases and the expected test results. This process however resulted in it taking just as much time to document the tests as it took to actually execute them. As software development involves cross functional teams, it felt strange for the development teams to write down their test cases and results in a different tool and then link them manually to the user stories in JIRA. They felt that this was too much overhead and wanted to find a lean solution for their test case management.

The QA at XING was looking for a tool that makes the tests easier to maintain, more transparent, and more accessible to everybody – from the developer, to the testers, to the product managers. Bugs that were identified during these tests should be easily associated with the test case. A new test case management tool should support their needs to reuse test cases and running them again with a different result, therefore it should be easy to just push one button and duplicate a bunch of test cases with its basic description.

Using JIRA for test case management

XING decided that JIRA would be the best choice for documenting test cases and their test results for the following reasons:

  • developers, testers, designers and product managers were already familiar with JIRA;
  • they already had a JIRA administrator with lots of experience in setting up new workflows, permissions, etc.;
  • traceability: JIRA can connect the test case directly to the user story or a bug that was found in the test session. There is no better integration in JIRA than JIRA itself.

The setup to document test cases

Each development team at XING has their own project to track the user stories they are working on. For test cases XING introduced two new issue types they call “High Level Test Case” and “Low Level Test Case”. They connect a “High Level Test Case” directly with a user story when creating it. Testers or developers are documenting the test procedure and the expected test result in this test case. Low level test cases are sub-tasks to the high level test case – whereas the high level test case is abstract (“Given a correct password, a user can login successfully”), the low level test case is concrete (“User Foo can login successful given password Bar”).

Documenting tests and results

If a test case should be executed, the tester or developer just picks it and changes the state from “Not Started” to “In Progress”. The test case will be executed (manually) and the result will be documented with the state “Passed” or ” Failed”. If the test failed and a bug is found during a test session, the tester can easily associate it with the test case. The developer that fixes the bug can see the test procedure and simply reproduce it.

Easily rerun a whole bunch of tests

If the development team need to rerun a bunch of test cases, XING is using the clone function in JIRA to copy test cases for one user story with their settings and descriptions but and not their states. This way a user story can easily be tested again.

Using JIRA for Lean QA benefits the entire development team

When the development team at XING picked JIRA, they adopted a lean methodology. By extending their use of JIRA to documenting test cases they adopted a more holistic lean methodology, encompassing QA. Even though the testers had to some slight adjusting to do to adopt this innovative approach, it felt very natural for the software development team. After successfully deploying this test case management approach in two teams for just under a month, the early successes led to a broader roll out to nearly every development team, with great success.

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