Start with a Small Test Plan and Add Details as Necessary
Begin with the “Goldilocks Rule” in mind to identify how much detail is appropriate.
If your tests cover a large scope, as in a set of end-to-end tests of a process, you focus first on entering only the most important elements of that process into Hexawise. If your tests cover a small scope, as in tests that focus on a few items on a single screen, the amount of detail you will want to include in Hexawise is higher. Learn more about the Goldilocks Rule.
Imagine explaining your System Under Test to someone’s mother. Start with 5 things that may change in each test
Suggestion: do not start this process with detailed Requirements or Technical Specifications. Instead, start with your basic common sense description of some things that would change from test to test.
- If you were explaining the application to someone’s mother, how would you explain what it does in 2 minutes?
- What kinds of things would be important to vary from test to test?
- Hardware and software configurations?
- User types?
- Different actions that a user might take?
- Identify 5 things that change from test to test and turn those 5 things into your first Parameters.
- How might those things change? Add one or more Values for each Parameter.
- At this point general descriptions might be fine; (e.g., SUV’s or Economy cars vs. Toyota Corolla).
- Remember that, where possible, you should avoid creating long lists of values.
Create a draft set tests, assess obvious big gaps in the tests, and start filling them.
What obvious types of scenarios are missing? Add parameters and values as necessary to fill those big, obvious holes.
Create tests again, assess whether you’re covering necessary business rules and requirements.
If your tests are not yet testing a business rule or Requirement that you want to test:
- Consider adding a Parameter or Value
- Consider adding a specific combination of values to be tested together in the requirements tab
Reduce scope if the test plan is too complex
- Consider cutting the scope of the plan (e.g., create two different plans with largely similar parameters – one for regular users and one for special users – instead of one big plan which tries to “do it all.”)
- Consider changing the way you are describing “hard coded” values. Instead, of “iPhone 4S with International roaming” (which might not be a valid option after the first part of the draft test case suggests a transaction for a phone for corporate customers from a Northern location responding to the special holiday offer…) consider using descriptive parameters and values along the lines of “from the available options of phones available at this point in the test case, select an option that meets as many of these conditions as you can…
Consider adding additional details into your plan from other sources.
Other sources for test ideas could be:
J Michael Hunter’s “You Are Not Done Yet”
Elisabeth Hendrikson’s Test Heuristics Cheat Sheet
Hans Buwalda’s Soap Opera Testing