TPS report

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A TPS report (Testing Procedure Specification) is a document used by a quality assurance group or individual, in software engineering in particular, that describes the testing procedures and the testing process.


The official definition and creation is provided by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) as follows:

IEEE 829 - Test Procedure Specification
The Test Procedures are developed from both the Test Design and the Test Case Specification. The document describes how the tester will physically run the test, the physical set-up required, and the procedure steps that need to be followed. The standard defines ten procedure steps that may be applied when running a test.[1]

In popular culture[edit]

After its use in the comedic 1999 film Office Space, "TPS report" has come to connote pointless, mindless paperwork,[2] and an example of "literacy practices" in the work environment that are "meaningless exercises imposed upon employees by an inept and uncaring management" and "relentlessly mundane and enervating".[3] According to the film's writer and director Mike Judge, the acronym stood for "Test Program Set" in the movie.[4]

  • In Valve Corporation's PC game "Counter-Strike: Source" there is a map used called "Office" and portions of the scenery have TPS reports lying about the cabinetry as well as a computer screen with TPS reports being worked on.[6]
  • In the first season episode "Walkabout" of the television series Lost, John Locke is in his cubicle having a confidential phone conversation when he is interrupted by his superior asking him to submit his TPS reports by noon.[7]
  • In the 2011 movie Arena, TPS report cover sheets are discussed by the character Yoshi (Michael Liu) in one of the cutaways.
  • In the Kooman and Dimond musical Homemade Fusion[8] the song "The Temp & the Receptionist" includes the line "You type your TPS reports / And got me feeling out of sorts."[9]
  • In the music video for the song "That's what's up" by the band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, the lead male role gets questioned by his superior about missing TPS reports.[10]
  • At the beginning of the 2016 Elementary Episode To Catch a Predator Predator, Winston Utz (played by Frank Whaley) a character lying to his wife on a mobile phone while in a cheap motel, refers to having to file his TPS reports, before a shooting outside.
  • In Quantum Break, a worker in the underground basement during Monarch's Gala is frozen while tripping, saying the words "Oh no, my TPS reports".


  1. ^ "IEEE 829 Documentation". Retrieved 2015-08-17. 
  2. ^ Little, Steven S. (2008). The Milkshake Moment: Overcoming Stupid Systems, Pointless Policies and Muddled Management to Realize Real Growth. John Wiley & Sons. p. 51. ISBN 978-0-470-25746-3. 
  3. ^ Williams, Bronwyn T.; Zenger, Amy A. (2007). Popular Culture and Representations of Literacy. Routledge/Taylor & Francis. p. 61. ISBN 978-0-415-36095-1. 
  4. ^ Hoinski, Michael (2009-02-09). "Office Space' Cast Reunite at 10th Anniversary Screening of Mike Judge's Cult Film". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2015-08-17. 
  5. ^ Terry Tate office linebacker on YouTube
  6. ^ "Counter-Strike: Source: cs_office Easter Egg - :) fart + TPS Report from Office Space movie". Retrieved 2015-08-17. 
  7. ^ Jack Bender (director); David Fury (writer) (2004-10-13). "Walkabout". Lost. Season 1. Episode 4. ABC. 
  8. ^ "Homemade Fusion". Retrieved 2015-08-17. 
  9. ^ "Kooman & Dimond Blog". Lyrics to The Temp & the Receptionist. 2012-05-05. Retrieved 2015-08-17. 
  10. ^ Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros - That's What's Up on YouTube

External links[edit]