In the Run Tests activity, you’ll see test cases grouped up by various states including Active, Failed, Blocked, and Completed.
This idea comes from the workflow many customers report to using where they run many tests only once per iteration. So the intent is to take a test that is Active (meaning it is ready and available to be run) and test it in the Test Runner.
Based on the outcome of that test result, the test state will change to Failed or Completed.
Completed tests are done, unless you decide you want to run that test again. You can simply select it and run, you can select it and hit Reset so it moves back to Active (ideally for another person to pick it up), or discover it and reset it as a recommended test based on code churn in the product code that the test covered.
Failed tests will generally have a bug associated with them, so they’ll be rerun from the Verify Bugs activity when the bug is resolved back to the tester.
Through these cycles, the goal is to get every test into the Completed state. Then it is time to do exploratory testing, or identify existing test cases to run again.
When you run tests from the right-hand pane of the Run Tests activity, the selected items are always taken into the run. However, if you select a suite and try to run it, only the tests in the Active state will be taken into the run. This is to avoid taking a Completed tests (one that reached the end of the cycle) into the run, or a Failed test which is still waiting on a bug fix.
Engineering Lead, MTM