How to write test cases in Jira?

For my work we want to go also to use Jira for writing test cases.
Now it is not in place yet.
And as I am the only certificed tester it is my task to find the best solution for the developers and the other testers.

How we want to do it? That the test cases are under a story.
We are working with SCRUM and this gives us the best overview.

Another requirement is that we want to make and fill in the test cases in a table.
In the Jira that we have now that is time consuming.

So requirements:

  • Test cases under a story (linked to a story)
  • Fill in the test cases in a table

Suggestions? Please let me now.

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Hi Suzanne,

Are these test cases going to be used by the developers or the testers? Also what’s the objective of them? I would generally write acceptance criteria within the story (Using something like Given When Then) and include what risks threaten the story or that the story is trying to mitigate. Then, during kick-off, I would discuss with the developers any specific areas I’d expect them to write automated checks to ensure these risks actually are mitigated (Though this is just for specific stuff I want to be sure they cover, I’d still expect them to be writing other automated checks beyond the specified ones).

And then when testing, if the story is just a small size, I’ll typically just detail brief testing notes in the story notes, and during sign-off, go through these, the risks, and how we’ve mitigated or avoided these risks.
For bigger stories, I’d detail some test charters to assist with exploratory testing, and I’d include my testing notes and the charter in the story notes, and go through these during sign-off.

Personally, I’d stave away from being too prescriptive with how to format testing notes. Some people may want to draw a table, and enter details into each, but others may draw things like mind maps, or bullet point things, and so long as they can add these to into the story notes and can explain them back, I think it’s all fine.

Hope this helps! :slight_smile:

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Hi Will,

These test cases are going to be used by testers.
The objective it to write test cases on a structured way.
When you now want to write a table it is very time consuming. And all the testers are doing this.
So this is very irritating.

KR Suzanne

Personally I’d move away from writing test cases like that. It’s basically just automated checks, but done by humans in a far less efficient manner, and your developers should be writing those. Do your developers currently write many automated checks?


No they don’t.
Therefore test cases are needed to be written.

Hmmm… Again, I’d strongly advise moving away from that model, though if it’s entrenched and historical, I understand it can be difficult to do. As a quality person in your organisation though, you should be strongly advocating for it, as it will free up the time of your testers to do better work, and will help improve the quality of your product overall. Particularly if you’ve recently adopted scrum, this could be the best time to introduce some additional change.

Although your developers shouldn’t find it as big a change, as it’s effectively just writing more code.

Part of the reason you’ll struggle with doing things like this directly in Jira, is that Jira doesn’t really account for doing things like this.
Something alternative you could try though, is writing your test cases in a regular online spreadsheet application (Google Sheets, Excel Online etc), and providing the link to them in the story.

But again, the best solution is that your developers are writing automated checks, and your testers are freed up to improve the quality through exploratory testing, pairing with developers, and advocating for quality during stand ups/team meetings etc.


Great plugins for test management do exist in Jira, but a lot of other free tools do exist. I myself am also looking at using jira to manage test cases. I’m sitting on top of just over 1000 test, many of which are thankfully automated already. I’m probably going to stump up the cash for the Jira plugin next year, but until then I am keeping test cases as lightweight as possible and using wordings like the “if then when”.

The trouble with explicit or detailed wordings, is that when developers run them manually, the follow them monkey-style. They then get the bright idea to automate and make the same monkey-style mistake in the automated test. I thus keep test case capture as brief and vague as to implementation as possible. I don’t mind that automated tests are monkey tests, because they create a “positive” path that lets me know quickly if the product “can” be made to work using the same workarounds the automation script used.

Excel sheets do not scale well though, so I suggest finding budget and biting the Jira plugin rental bullet. Formal test case management has all the obvious overheads that source code has, so word documents and spreadsheets approach requires some supporting tooling if you do go that route.

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I am in the same mindset as you are.

Are there Jira plugins that you are thinking about to use?

Luckly I can say what I want. :slight_smile:
It is a whole investigation.

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I haven’t worked with it for years, so I can’t offer advice about if it’s still good, but the reviews seem to be positive, and it was good the last time I used it for test-case purposes. Using such a tool is a lot easier than making your own thing, and for small(er) teams, it really doesn’t add a lot of costs.


Where I work we use Xray plugin for test managment, and personally I like it, I like it a lot.



We use Jira and are moving over to the X-ray plugin for test case management. We have also recently adopted the Gherkin syntax Given When Then for our manual test cases and this can be easily used on Xray. My team and I are really liking it so far and would recommend it. :slight_smile:


Hey, we recently started to use Xray and started Gherkin syntax. We were able to load in our Regression suite we had in Excell into Xray with little effort as well

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We use Zephyr at my work. It is perfect for testcases. You can reuse, make testcycles, etc

Hi @suuske1981,
I’d recommend trying out Xray (; you can use it for manual, scripted tests and also for Gherkin (e.g. Cucumber, Specflow, Behave) based ones and even for other automation frameworks, whenever you’re at that point. The interesting part is the ability to track coverage right in your user stories or in your Agile boards.
Your opinion is really the best, so I’d recommend that you try it out for yourself. Please have a look at this recording of a webinar showing it in practice:

Side note: you should complement check-based with exploratory testing.


We use Zephyr and XRay Jira plugins to write and manage test cases.

Why don’t you give a try?

Asiq Ahamed
Test Automation Architect

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Really cannot recommend X-ray enough.

Used Zephyr a few years ago, and find X-ray much better. The only problem I find with X-ray is when executing tests, it’s not bad, but you can’t open the individual executions in a new tab and if you navigate away from the execution overview, when you return, the filters are reset. A solution to this is keeping your executions nice and short (i.e. breaking down regressions) and avoiding having more than one tester do the same execution :slight_smile:

But, again, couldn’t recommend enough :slight_smile:

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We did consider Zephyr and XRay (XRay I preferred the look of) but one of our key requirements was the ability to allow changing of tools as we grow independently of each function. So we decided to go for a separate Test Management System that integrated with Jira. TestRail is currently working for us and we’ve developed further integrations using both TestRail and Jira APIs to help coverage tracking and reporting. However, if we want to move to a new TMS, we can export our test cases and import them into a new tool even if we’re happy with Jira.

For the last five years I’ve been using synapseRT plugin for Jira as a test case management system. At that time only two plugins were available: synapseRT and zephyr. SynapseRT was better, in my opinion, and cheaper. It’s an intuitive and easy-to-use tool. With its REST API, I automated the test results update when running Selenium. Highly recommend.

I second this. I’m working with a company that have been using XRay plugin for a long time and they absolutely love it.


I’m currently setting up a system similar to what I’ve used before. Its using Jira tickets, no plugins. I didn’t want to invest in a tool because I hope to move away from test cases and toward agile. Using a tool could establish procedures and expectations that make moving further agile difficult. It does require some Jira admin skills though.

  • Create a new issue type, call it Test Case - whatever
  • Add to that a custom field ‘Verified Version’, use the multi-select version field type.
  • Add whatever other custom fields seem necessary, Setup, tools, prerequisites, etc…

A Test Case issue may include several related ‘checks’ to be executed in a single test session. I don’t make a table, just add a list of checks in the description.

Once the checks have been completed a comment is added which contains any info relevant to that test session, the tested version is added to the Verified Version field and any found issues are reported seperately as bugs which are then linked. The issue is closed (resolved) as complete not ‘pass/fail’. Therefor the project is tracked in terms of:

  • planned testing completed
  • issues found
  • issues fixed, verified etc…

At the end of a test cycle the tests can be bulk re-opened ready for the next cycle after reviewing etc… The verified versions and comments remain intact.

Its not perfect, but as a halfway solution towards agile I think its adequate. It would be difficult to manage large suites of tests across multiple projects. Re-usability is limited to cut-n-paste or issue clones. I’m working in a embedded, IoT, cloud services business, the last thing I want is a huge suite of manual test cases; but for now I needed something.