You have options for writing test cases in Jira.
March 12, 2018

How to Write (Better) Test Cases in Jira

Test Management
Application Lifecycle Management

Your company needs to deliver the best software possible. And to do that, you need to test, test, and test some more.

After all, testing is an important part the software development lifecycle. At the very least, you need to test software before it goes out the door. Ideally, it should be continuously tested — especially for organizations practicing DevOps.

But many organizations lack the tools to manage testing properly. This is a particularly common issue for those who use Jira to track issues throughout the development process.

That’s because Jira doesn’t have built-in testing functionality. So, for organizations who haven’t added testing tools, test cases are managed manually.

And that’s a big problem.

How to Use Jira for Test Case Management

Jira test case management is possible, though not ideal. But there are some hacks you can use to make Jira work for managing test cases — creating a "test case" issue, tweaking a user story to be a test case, and adding a testing status to your workflow.

Hacks for Writing Test Cases in Jira

You already know how to create test cases in Jira. But you may not be happy with those. Try these hacks to make Jira work for you.

1. Create a “Test Case” Issue — and Keep It Open.

But Jira issues are meant to be pushed to done. That makes it challenging to rerun or reuse tests. Plus, it’s hard to keep track of all of your testing if you’re managing test cases as Jira issues. Trying to create test coverage reports from disparate sources will be difficult.

2. Tweak a User Story to Be a Test Case.

Jira user stories have the same problems that Jira issues have. So, you’ll still have a challenge if you want to reuse tests. That’s made all the more difficult by the fact that Jira doesn’t have built-in testing functionality.

3. Add a “Testing” Status to Your Jira Workflow.

But you might find yourself moving to a “done” status before you’re actually done with that test. After all, completing a test is not the same as being done with a test. 

You could configure a workflow, so a test isn’t “done” before you’re actually done. But that will add more steps to an already manual process.

When Writing Test Cases in Jira Doesn't Work

If you want to write test cases and manage them in Jira, these workarounds will help you in a pinch. But Jira wasn’t designed to create test cases. And it’s still a pretty manual process to get Jira to support test case management.

So, using workarounds for testing in Jira won’t solve your problems. It will still take manual effort (and your valuable time) to manage your testing efforts.

How to Add Test Case Management to Jira

Testing is an essential part of software development. For organizations practicing Agile development, continuous testing is the best way to provide a good experience for users — while pushing product development forward.

Whether you’re Agile or not, every test you run is important. And you need a way to track the results of your tests and manage data from both manual and automated tests. 

Jira helps development stay on track when it comes to managing issues. But when you get to testing and QA, you get stuck. Jira doesn’t have the built-in testing functionality you need to effectively manage test cases.

So, your processes become manual. And that makes it difficult to get visibility over the development process and match issues up with test cases.

Adding test case management to Jira will help you keep your software development cycle running smoothly.

Find the best test management tool for Jira >

How to Write Better Test Cases (and Keep Using Jira).

1. Automate Your Testing Processes

Many organizations are using a combination of manually maintained documents, spreadsheets, and Jira add-ons to get by with software testing. But these methods are time-consuming and exhausting. They don’t easily lend themselves to reuse.

Remember: you don’t always need to create new test cases. One of the best ways to gain efficiency in your testing process is to use the same test case for many types of testing.

Reusing tests and test cases reduces manual effort. And adding automated testing tools can help you do more testing faster. You can set up a test, and schedule it to run again — and again.

By automating manual processes, you’ll free your team up to focus on the important stuff — the tests and their results.

2. Integrate Your Tools

Integration should be a top priority. And that means both integration with Jira (if you want to keep using Jira for bug tracking) and integration within the testing process.

You need to be able to link QA tracking, testing, and testing data for analysis. This makes it easy for your team to get insight into what tests have been run — and whether or not those tests passed. And, if you’re integrating testing with Jira, it makes it easy to map which tests detected or resolved which issues.

Integrated testing helps you maximize efficiency and produce quality products faster.

3. Use Traceability

Testing doesn’t happen in a bubble. It’s an integral part of the software development lifecycle, and it needs to be connected with requirements and issues. That’s hard to do when you’re tracking bugs in Jira, requirements in a Word document, and test cases in Excel spreadsheets.

That’s why traceability — the ability to trace your test cases to a requirement or issue — is important.

It’s much better to rest assured that the necessary tests have been run before going to production.

You’ll have a problem if you don’t have test cases, or records of passed tests (and success rates or bugs found). That’s because if a bug shows up in production, you need to be able to answer when the last time that component was tested. If you can’t, you’re toast.

Jira Test Case Management Doesn't Work

Writing test cases in Jira doesn't work.

If you're interested in:

  • Writing better test cases
  • Getting visibility over testing
  • Adding traceability to Jira

Then it's time to find a Jira alternative — such as Helix ALM.

Helix ALM makes it easy to create test cases and manage tests. Plus, you can keep tracking bugs in Jira. Try Helix ALM — and see how your test cases will be more effective.

Write a Test Case in Helix ALM