Defect Management: Should I fail a test case if a defect is found that is unrelated to said test case?
I'm hoping to open an informed discussion as to the best practices when dealing with defect management. As a tester, if I'm testing a website and there are visual defects, however the test case I am testing against does not quantify the user-interface as part of the test.
One option is that:
As a quality assurance tester we would lose integrity by ignoring defects we know won't be raised by our test cases, simply because they aren't specified to be tested or part of the requirements.
Another option is:
Said element/defect is not within the scope, therefore irrelevant to our testing, henceforth the ticket should be passed rather than fail as it wasn't specified.
My team and I are currently discussing this right now with a real world issue, I'd really love to hear feedback of other cases and best practices.
Don't ignore the defects. Do document them in some manner.
From there though, a lot of it is up to you and how your organization operates and how late in the development life cycle you're discovering these defects. The most important QA deliverable in my experience is an accurate description of how well the application under test meets expectations. When I've been in similar situations to the one you described we've normally broken out defects that don't fit into the existing test suite into bug tickets. We'd communicate these bugs (in addition to the usual test suite/results) to business and engineering stakeholders. This helps to inform the decision to fix the defect immediately, fix eventually, or ignore entirely.
You also may want to add a test case for this defect if or when it's resolved!