October 2, 2013

MindMaps in Testing: Mid-week

A few days in of increased use of MindMaps in my daily routine and I have seen some interesting results. Like any technique that is new, the novelty of doing something a new way can drive higher short term adoption, and I have been able to consistently use my day notes mind map to track my day. I would normally try to write this in a log book, but I tend to forget. The ability to color code the nodes however has made this more likely to continue after the "New way" interest has worn off.

So what have I done with mind maps so far? Two of my common tasks have been moved over to mind maps.  Test planning for newly completed features, and my daily activity log.  I have in fact combined these two into a single map, one for each day, where testing won't span more than a day.  Where testing will be a multi-day or multi tester effort, I've split it out into a separate map.  The daily activity map has helped me track my day and make notes on the activities that I do. I've marked with color finished tasks, blocked task, bugs found, future investigations and test results. The color enables me to quickly look and see what I need to remember. I used to do this with my notebook, but it's been hard to find the tasks and future investigations easily later when I go looking.

The tool that I've been using has a mode where it will auto color the nodes for you based on a color change at the leaf level to indicate that you have completed a task or  been blocked if you are using your MindMap as a plan/to-do.   I don't usually write detailed plans, I write down a list of areas I want to test, and some notes under each of those about why or how of that testing area.  This feature the MindMap software that I'm using allows me to quickly look back and see what area's I have left to cover in upcoming charters, and update based on the charters that I've completed.

All in all, MindMaps have been a good addition to my work. I haven't had to share the information in them with others yet, but I expect that to be helpful also.


  1. Can u share the mindmaps (sample) ones..and the software u use ?

    "Here - the is repeated "This feature the the MindMap"

    Thanks for sharing.


  2. Sure. I have been using xmind, but this week i've been using www.mindmup.com more. It has some nice features for collaborative MindMaps and auto-coloring nodes above the current node for bubble up status when you are using the MindMap for tasking or tracking.