The Value of Screenshots in CSA
Screenshots have become a commonly used method for visually communicating information, providing step-by-step instructions, reporting bugs, and showcasing designs. When it comes to screenshots in the field of software development, it is advisable to follow good documentation practices and maintain traceability. Traditionally, Computer Software Validation (CSV) testing would require folders full of screenshots with each page signed and dated, but what value is this really adding to the validation and does it impact how the system is used?
Benefits of Screenshots in CSA.
The main disadvantages of screenshots in Computer Software Assurance are that they don’t add value. Rather, add significant costs without any benefit. However, screenshots still have a place in validation in particular use cases. Below are some reasons that you might use screenshots;
- They add value to an execution.
- They are necessary for effective testing.
- They explain the steps to recreate any discrepancies in the application.
- When the expected result was not achieved.
- There is specific need for a ‘before and after’ comparison of detailed or complex data
- In the case of a workflow, if a screenshot is taken at the beginning and at the end it acts as proof that the steps between had to be complete in order to get to the end of a workflow.
Conclusion: GAMP 5 Second Edition and Screenshots
GAMP 5 Second Edition outlines that the taking of screenshots is un-necessary and does not add any value, but, as highlighted above, screenshots can serve as important supporting evidence or documentation for system configuration, testing, or troubleshooting.
What is vital for testers to remember is that a considered approach should always be taken when using screenshots. They should limit the number of screenshots to only what adds value to your validation.
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