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Build Session Based Testing Dashboards

Surface trends and defects found during exploratory testing sessions using Jira's dashboard gadgets

Alan Parkinson avatar
Written by Alan Parkinson
Updated over a week ago

While debriefs from individual test sessions gives the Product Owner and other team members updates on the defects found, it doesn't give the bigger picture of what is happening within the project or sprint. Jira allows you to build your own dashboards and you can add gadgets giving an overview of the defects found during test sessions.

A basic recipe for dashboard gadgets

Most of Jira's dashboard gadgets work by taking a list of issues from search results and you can control this search by building a filter using JQL (Jira Query Language).

Step 1: Creating a filter

  • Open the Issue Search page: Issues > Search for Issues

  • Create and run (Magnifying glass icon) a JQL search:
    Sprint in openSprints() AND (sessions.count is EMPTY OR sessions.count = 0)
    If you can only specify search criteria via a series of drop downs then you will need to switch into advanced mode

  • Check the results of the search are what you expect, it can take a little to refine a complex query so testing is always worth while

  • Once you are happy with the query click Save as and give the filter a descriptive name 

The following search criteria are available for Session-based testing in Behave Pro:

  • sessions.count - The number of test sessions associated with the Issue

  • sessions.incomplete - The number of unfinished test sessions associated with the Issue

  • defectOf -  The key of the issue this defect/bug report belongs too. Only present on defects/bugs reported from test sessions

  • foundInSprint -  The sprint the defect/bug was reported in. Only present on defects/bugs reported from test sessions within a Scrum project.

Step 2: Adding a Gadget

Once you have created the filter the next step is to select an appropriate gadget to display the data and add it to a dashboard. 

Open the dashboard (Dashboards > Dashboard Name) you want to use for Session-based testing and click Add gadget. A dialog with a list of available gadgets will open, scroll through the list and click Add gadget next to the gadgets you want to use (This will add them to the dashboard but not close the dialog).

Some of the common gadgets we use are Filter Results, Two Dimensional Filter Statistics, Pie Chart, Issue Statistics, and Created vs. Resolved Chart.

Once you are happy with the selected gadgets close the dialog and you will be presented with the dashboard and your new gadgets ready for configuration.

Each Gadget requires a Saved Filter to be selected, this should be the filter you created in Step 1. Some gadgets might require further configurations but once you click Save your gadget will render on the dashboard.

This is the basic template for creating gadgets in Jira for Behave Pro and Session-based Testing. To get started browse the recipes below selecting the filter to use in Step 1 of the template and recommend gadgets for Step 2.

Issues without planned Test Sessions

Good practice for Session-based testing recommends initial chartering should take place as soon as possible. To support this you can create the following gadget to list the Issues that need session charters

JQL Filter - Scrum
project = "project name" AND Sprint in openSprints() AND statusCategory != Done AND (sessions.count is EMPTY OR sessions.count = 0) ORDER BY Rank ASC
JQL Filter - Kanban
project = "project name" AND statusCategory = "In Progress" AND (sessions.count is EMPTY OR sessions.count = 0) ORDER BY Rank ASC

Note: You might want to add additional clauses to your filter to suit the setup of your project. We often include a clause to filter out certain issues types.

Gadget: Filter Results

Defects found during Test Sessions

JQL Filter - Scrum
project = "project name" AND defectOf is not EMPTY AND foundInSprint in openSprints()
JQL Filter - Kanban
project = "project name" AND defectOf is not EMPTY AND createdDate >= -7d

There are a number of Gadgets that are good at displaying this information in a variety of ways, it just depends on what you want to see.

  • Created vs. Resolved Chart
    This chart displays the trend of defects being reported over the period of the sprint (A week or fortnight are ideal for Kanban projects) and the trend for the reported defects being resolved. This is great for identifying spikes in defects and seeing when they are under control.

  • Pie Chart
    Renders a stylish pie chart of the reported defects using the values from a single issue field. The status field is good for showing the status of the defects and the priority field is good for showing the range of severities amongst the defects.

  • Two Dimensional Filter Statistics
    By selecting status for the x-axis and priority for the y-axis, a table will be rendered showing the defects for each severitiy and thier progress status.

  • Filter Results
    Displays a simple list of Defects, not much more to be said.

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