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Sharing tests with internal and external customers is becoming a standard practice in Agile development teams. It may also be attributed to the increased adoption of lean principles, where sharing rather than duplicating work is encouraged. Internally, it builds team cooperation. Externally, customers are pleased with the organization's willingness to provide a service, and that action fosters positive business relationships.
Internal vs. external customers
However, sharing an Agile test case internally or externally requires a discussion around what types of tests are released and what data they include. Of course, the documents need to be screened prior to release to reduce risk and protect business assets.
Test cases may contain descriptions of application functions that are confidential and are considered company assets. Internal recipients need to be aware of any restrictions on sharing confidential Agile test cases or how to share them properly with external clients.
During the test review, consider if any data needs to be scrubbed or removed from the test cases before they are shared. If the organization decides to share QA test cases both to internal and external companies, then the QA team and product owners review and pull out any tests that cannot be shared for confidentiality reasons. Agile test cases can be scrubbed, but generally that means taking additional time to reconstruct tests that may not be worth the overall effort.
Next, you need to determine where the documents are stored and what location they are stored in.
Formats and storage
Which formats work? There are several options that are freely available or likely within your existing software application suite. If you have a Gmail account with Google, you can access all of Google's extra applications that automatically save and create documents, spreadsheets and slides that are readily accessible, reasonably secure, easy to share with others, and you have the added ability to export to numerous file types. There are templates available within Google as well -- simply search for "software testing templates." Similar to Google are various cloud-based applications that allow for user access, editing, saving and storage from anywhere an Internet connection exists, using any device type.
Another option is creating or exporting to the always popular Excel spreadsheet or Word document. Apple also has similar features for those that work with iOS. Consider picking the most commonly available option that both internal and external users are familiar with or that is truly easier to use.
For storage, if you choose Google, the storage is built into Google Drive. If you choose another path, SharePoint or any type of Wiki creates a file folder system that allows storage of documents. You'll want to consider a tool that includes the ability to check in and check out for Agile test version control.
Of course, you can also share a network drive for access both internally and externally and create a folder structure within it. Be sure to confirm that external and internal customers can successfully access both the shared folders and files themselves.
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