The Progress Report template describes the elements of a test project’s progress report, which a test manager creates at multiple points during the test effort. The report is presented to the project's client and stakeholders. The report is an informal one with no requirement for a certain format or version, configuration management or content.
I. General Progress
The general progress section of the Progress Report consists of summation of a project's progress as well as the identification of a project's outstanding issues and related product risks.
II. Activities, Milestones and Delivered Products - Current Period
This section presents a summary of the test project's activities for the period according to the currect test plan and the products that were delivered during the period. Sources of this information include earned value documentation.
a. Planned and Completed
The Planned and Completed section of the Progress Report should summarize the planned products that have been delivered as well as the planned activities that have been executed. The activities may include the following:
- The analysis of cluster ABC functionality is complete.
- The preparation of cluster XYZ efficiency is complete.
- The test environment is in place.
b. Planned But Not Completed
The Planned But Not Completed section of the Progress Report should summarize the planned products that have not been delivered, the planned activities that have not been executed as well as the reasons for this status. The activities may include this one:
- The preparation of test cluster KLM reliability testing that was delayed due to the unavailability of the test analyst.
c. Neither Planned Nor Completed
The Neither Planned Nor Completed section refers to time that's been committed to the completion of the individual project activities, which are outside the project's scope. Also included in this section is a statement as to the consequence of these activities to the test effort's plan.
II. Activities, Milestones and Delivered Products - Future Period
This section presents a summary of the test project's activities for a future period according to the current test plan. Sources of this information include earned value documentation.
The Planned section of the Progress Report should be a summary of the planned products that will be delivered in the future period and the activities that will be conducted according to the test plan. The planned activities that will not be conducted should be stated:
- The delay of the analysis of cluster ABC functionality.
- The review of cluster XYZ functionality.
- The delay of the setup of the testing test environment.
III. Information System Quality
The Information System Quality section summarizes the information system’s current quality level . This overview is the basis of the recommendation that’s documented in the Recommendation section. The information may be presented in a table or a separate document. Alternatively, a link may be provided to other documents.
a. Product Risks and System Requirements
The Product Risks and System Requirements section identifies the product risks and system requirements that the test effort did and did not address. The source of this information is the test-level specific progress or phase reports.
For each product risk that’s stated in the section, its MoSCoW is documented, which is an indication of the requirement's priority in the test effort. This entry might be “Must Test," "Should Test," "Could Test" or "Won't Test. All product risks and requirements data should be reported in a table:
IV. Test Project Costs and Benefits
a. Time Expenditures
The test-level costs in terms of time and budget are reported in the Test Project Costs and Benefits section of the Project Report. A statement as to the adequacy of the existing budget should be made and supported by a table that include project progress and budget spending.
Gather the needed information from the time registration at the project level. Alternatively, this information can be gathered from the test control matrix or determined using the Earned Value Method. This information is typically recorded using MS Project.
b. Financial Costs
The Financial Costs section presents an overview of the test effort’s budget and the actual costs. Reference documents for this section include existing budgets and a description of the planned activities. The budget will dictate the level of detail of the information that’s reported in this section. Either the Earned Value Method or the Test Control Matrix method data may be used as a data source, as can the table created in part A. Included should be all costs, such as travel expenses, tools and project audit costs and so on.
V. Project Risk Management
The Project Risk Management section identifies the top five to ten product risks and system requirements that the test plan addresses and documents their status. For instance, for each product risk that’s stated in the section, its status might be “Open” or "Closed. Risk with a "Closed" status will not appear in the next Progress Report.
VI. Project Issues
This section refers to a summary of issues that require the immediate attention of project stakeholders and that are documented in a separate Exception Report. For instance, the summary might refer to a risk that has materialized. In this case, the consequences must be stated. The summary might also state a risk that was not foreseen and has no predefined countermeasure.
A description of an issue should include five types of information:
- A description of the issue,
- A description of the issue's origin,
- The issue's consequences in terms of time, budget and quality,
- Alternative solutions for dealing with the issue and the implication's of the solution of the project's schedule, budget, product quality or other risks,
- The recommended solution and a reference to its supporting documentation,
- The decision that's been made to address the issue and a reference to any report, such as a Phase Report, that will provide additional information.