Test Cases on Single Sheets?

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    I have read from different places including Testing Computer Software by Cem Kaner, Jack Falk and Hung Quoc Nguyen that it is good to write a single test case on a single sheet or single document.
    Why can’t it be in say an excel format to which a test case will take a row and as such have all the test cases at a go?
    Or is it for clarity sake? Won’t that be a lot of documents or sheets? Won’t that scare the developers to open the document sent to find about 52 sheets (as an example) especially if the software being tested has a lot of functionalities to be tested?

    Help 😐


    Hi Hannah,

    That sounds quite scary to me, a spreadsheet with one test case per single sheet or single document — wowzers!

    I like your idea of a test case per row and I’ve used that successfully with multiple testers accessing a Google Sheet to collaboratively add/update tests cases on a single sheet. Perhaps you could group functionality per sheet if the number of rows per sheet become overwhelming? I’ve also used a drop down list in the column next to each test case to capture the state of the test case e.g. ‘Not started’, ‘In progress’, ‘Passed’, and ‘Failed’. This has allowed me easily collate summary test stats. I’ve also copied the sheet if I’m re-running the same tests, updating the sheet name with either a release number or date.


    We tend to do mind maps per functionality or regression test area.

    I think maybe the idea was to focus the tester on a certain bit of functionality? I haven’t read the articles you refer to but it sounds interesting.

    I have also done the collaboration using google drive and we do try and keep a page for certain areas of functionality because if someone is in that area of code fixing a bug they can check the sheet and fix the other issues at the same time.

    This also works with JIRA and epics. We may have an epic for a specific bit of the product and will link those so a dev can easily fix all issues associated with an area once they venture there.

    Oh and before I go too off topic, you actually mentioned test cases. Maybe the idea is to highlight that a test case is not just a “check” but a thorough test that can take up its own full page? I need to read this chapter! 🙂


    @Simon…you bet. Really require you exclaiming 😉
    Great info though. Thanks


    @Kim…thanks for the heads up.
    I’m sure the functionality per sheet is the way to go.
    Thanks guys 😉


    Also look into the session sheets used in Session-based test management.

    I definitely what to keep one idea as one “testcase”, but then have more ideas… or even a backlog of ideas.


    ok Jesper…looking into it right away!



    Usually a testCase consists of one or more testSteps and a testSuite consists of one or more testCases.
    How do you envision having each step on one row and would that still be readable?
    The only way around this, imho, is to describe your tests differently, at a higher level if you will and thus breaking with this kinda old-school structure.
    You could take a look at things like acceptance driving testing and behavior driven testing.


    I think the answer to this depends on how much detail you are storing for your ‘test case’.

    If you are creating a test script with multiple steps then a separate sheet for each case would be more readable. Ideally the first sheet would be an index sheet with a row per test case from which you could step directly to each test and which would also show the status of the test. e.g, Not started, In progress, Blocked, Failed, Passed.

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