October 6, 2013

MindMaps In Testing: Wrap up

So I spent a week without using a notebook, a testing management tool or any notes except for  mindmaps. It was an interesting week, I think I actually took better notes, missed fewer dark corners of the applications that I tested and was able to share my work with others easier. Alot if this was made easier by the use of colors on the nodes in my mind maps.   I used bold colors for things that I needed to come back to later, and light variants once I had come back and done what ever action was needed.

Lets take a look at what my process looked like.  Every Day I reviewed my Maps from earlier in the week to see if there was anything I needed to pull into todays map as a item I planned to do. So before my day even started I had a map with a center node that was the days date, surrounded by any tasks that carried over from the previous days and the items I planned to do that day.  If there was a task that carried over the the previous day, I would copy the node over with every thing that was under it so that I had my notes from the earlier work to guide my continuing work.   I found that my exploratory testing was very much assisted by this exposure to my previous results. I was able to make links across sessions and generate new charters with better insight than I had when I used a notebook for this same process.

As the day progressed, the first level nodes that I was working on would progress through several states denoted by color. White for upcoming tasks, yellow for the currently active task, Red/Purple for tasks that needed to be revisited, and Green for completed Tasks.  If that was all that I had done, this would not be as great a tool as it ended up being.  Also made notes on the tasks, and did my test planning under the testing tasks.  Since I used an electronic MindMap tool this allowed my test plans to be fluid and dynamic based my results.  Results from the tests were also recorded in the MindMap as were all of the defects and other issue I noted. Again these were color coded to allow me to make notes about them and not get distracted by opening my bug reporting tool  and spending time then reporting, but rather making enough notes that I could come back later to do a RIMGEA analysis and better report.

I found this technique very useful. My entire day was in one place, I could break pieces out to share and collaborate with others,  and I missed less. I will continue to use MindMaps in this way, and will continue to look for new ways to use MindMaps in my work.

1 comment:

  1. Nice organizational tool where I would imagine you will inspire others with your process description. I hope others share their process in how they use mindmaps.

    I use mindmaps as a way to organize how I create articles or course development. It's extra work but it really helps me to visualize the whole picture of what I want to say in an organized and sequential way but not forgetting the inter-dependencies.