Perform Testing Without Expected Results

How will you perform testing without expected results?

Questions by mathan_vel   answers by mathan_vel

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  • May 18th, 2009

This scenario is pretty close to testing without requirements. In an ideal environment this is impossible; you cannot test without knowing what the result should be. Guessing is what I can call it, but testers many times face this kind of situations, where they are required to test without any kind of support documentations. Though it is not impossible to test in these kind of situations, but you need to plan your test thoroughly to mitigate risks. Firstly if there is no clear documentation to have a view of the expected results then ask the projects BA or PM for screen shorts or any other design artifacts, secondly be an active listener in project meets and get hold of the module names and short descriptions of the modules to infer logical meanings from end user’s point-of-view, make sure to get it checked from any business/development guy. And finally never be afraid of asking questions. This will help you in your testing where you are not aware of the expected result or of the requirements.


  • Sep 1st, 2009

I am agree with this kind of situation which arises in between testing the application, even i have faced this situation many times. But at this movement we should always remember one fact that without expected result, whatever we are going to test, is a big risk, which no-one can offord if anything happens wrongs.
   So it's better to ask from the BA(Business Analyist) or concerned developer or client, before testing the feature. Understand the functionality of the feature for whom expected results are not known and based upon disscussion prepare a new feature details document or update test cases accordinly and then approve from your manager/lead. Once got approval begin testing the features.

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If you have no 'expected results,' then you definitely do not have requirements and specifications for the application under test.  This is about as bad as it gets in a testing project. 

The answer to this question depends on time and resources. 

1) If there is time and resources (company stakeholders who are knowedgeable about the program's business requirements and specifications), I would ask relevant questions about these things in order to learn as much about the application as possible.  I would then produce test cases based on my newly acquired knowledge. 

2) If there is limited time and resources, then I would perform exploratory tests on the application.  I would make it known to those who rely on my results to make informed business decisions: a) on how the application was tested and what was tested, b) of the risks involved when tests are not mapped from requirements and specifications, and c) that I will not sign off on the quality of the product because I did not have the resources to produce adequate test cases. 

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