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How to use mind maps to clarity your tests

To improve the communication about a project you don’t need to have infinite docs and articles. For someone who is starting or to quick understand the product you need to have something smaller, prettier, and more focused to the audience. Mind maps are a lightweight form of testing documentation, because communicating effectively with the team is the key of a good quality implementation.

Revealing the Complexity of a Problem

Imagine that you have to test an app. You know that you need to test the functionalities and if the behaviour of the app is not clunky and unstable. You can have articles on Confluence explaining the behaviour of the app or you can have a mind map which is more focused and simple.

For example:

Click to expand

 

This mind map will help you to remember of all of the type of tests that you can perform on a mobile app.

The mind map communicated the logic of how our code would be written without the need of looking at code. It can cover all of your use cases and extract connections in a way that would have been difficult to do in a list.

When creating the mind map you can follow Heuristic Test Design, which is a model of tests with different patterns of quality criteria, techniques, elements and environment. It helps testers to remember and design different combinations while creating the test plan.

 

Using mind maps for regression tests

You can use mind maps for so many things, for example as a guide to your regression tests. I think it is far much more easy than reading a list of checklists. Also, it helps people who are just arriving at the company to understand the flow and the connections across the features. This guide helps you to decide whether what’s happening is something you should expect. Not everybody agrees about having mind maps for regression tests which I can understand why, but you can decide this with your team.

Imagine that you have a checklist like this:

You need to follow this checklist to be sure your release is good to go, but imagine that you have a map to follow, wouldn’t be more clear and easy to understand ? You can find the mind map correspondent to this checklist here:

Click to expand

When a button changes, for example, the mind map should be the first thing to look at. You can check if nothing was changed below or up that node (feature). You look at the parent node to see what pressing the button did and make sure it still does that. You update the mind map with the new button shape so that future testers know how it works now.

Mind maps help us test not just the change at hand but the consistency of that change relative to the rest of the product, the product’s history, and the feature’s purpose.

 You should share this process and ask for the development team input their thoughts and this will build trust in the regression pack. Also as I always recommend, share and review always. You are not working alone and it’s important to remember that we are not machines and we have blind spots which can be solved by the involvement of a properly engaged team.
Tools
You can use some of these free tools to create your Mind Map, I usually prefer the online ones, but feel free to choose the best one for you:

 

Resources:

https://dojo.ministryoftesting.com/lessons/mind-maps-made-easy

http://www.satisfice.com/tools/htsm.pdf

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