Discovering New Test Ideas: Getting that Burst of Creativity

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Feel your testing’s stuck in a rut? Looking for new ways to discover test ideas? Wondering if your testers have constructive methods to discover different approaches for testing? In this interactive session, Karen Johnson explains how to use heuristics to find new ideas. After a brief discussion, Karen has you apply and practice with a variety of heuristics. Need to step back and consider some of your testing challenges from a fresh perspective? This workshop explores the use of the CIA’s tool, the Phoenix Checklist, a set of intentionally designed context-free questions that can help you look at a problem or challenge from a fresh perspective. Karen reviews the fun and useful tool of brainstorming and variations on brainstorming that you can use with your team. Come join a session designed to explore creative ways to strengthen your approach to testing.

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Discovering New Test Ideas: Getting that Burst of Creativity

  1. 1. TE AM Tutorial 10/1/2013 8:30:00 AM "Discovering New Test Ideas: Getting that Burst of Creativity" Presented by: Karen Johnson Software Test Management, Inc. Brought to you by: 340 Corporate Way, Suite 300, Orange Park, FL 32073 888-268-8770 ∙ 904-278-0524 ∙ sqeinfo@sqe.com ∙ www.sqe.com
  2. 2. Karen N. Johnson Software Test Management, Inc. Karen N. Johnson is a software test consultant, working on-site and remotely to help her clients build testing teams and strengthen their testing practice. Karen is considered an expert in software testing and has been part of the context-driven software testing community for a number of years. She is a frequent speaker at testing conferences; a contributing author to the book, Beautiful Testing; and co-founder of WREST, the Workshop on Regulated Software Testing. Karen has published numerous articles and blogs about her experiences with software testing.
  3. 3. 8/20/2013 Discovering New Test Ideas Karen N. Johnson Copyright 2013 Discovering New Test Ideas v6 © Karen N. Johnson, 2013 1 about: Karen N. Johnson • Software Test Consultant • Published Author • Teach Software Testing • Co-founder of WREST, the Workshop on Regulated Software Testing • Site: www.karennjohnson.com • Twitter: karennjohnson Discovering New Test Ideas v6 © Karen N. Johnson, 2013 2 1
  4. 4. 8/20/2013 Is there space in our work for creativity? Discovering New Test Ideas v6 © Karen N. Johnson, 2013 3 What stops us? Mental locks 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. The right answer That’s not logical Follow the rules Be practical Play is frivolous That’s not my area Avoid ambiguity Don’t be foolish To err is wrong I’m not creative – Roger von Oech, “A What on the Side of the Head” Discovering New Test Ideas v6 © Karen N. Johnson, 2013 4 2
  5. 5. 8/20/2013 agenda • • Introduction Exercise: the cup • • Brainstorming explained Exercise: brainstorming • • Heuristics explained Exercise: heuristics • • The Phoenix Checklist explained Exercise: The Phoenix Checklist • • Tours Explained Exercise: tours • • $100 Test explained Exercise $100 test • • Exercise: Brainstorming Part 2 Team Debriefs 5 Exercise: the cup The premise We all get overloaded with demands and distraction. A solution Empty what is on your mind onto the paper provided. You do not need to share or discuss the paper, it is yours. Discovering New Test Ideas v6 © Karen N. Johnson, 2013 6 3
  6. 6. 8/20/2013 about: Brainstorming • Originated by Alex F. Osborn • Start with a specific question • Guidelines: 1. Defer judgment 2. Quantity is wanted 3. “Free-wheeling” is welcome (the wilder an idea, the better) 4. Combination and improvement to ideas Discovering New Test Ideas v6 © Karen N. Johnson, 2013 7 Brainstorming Blockers • Free riding - not contributing because you feel the group has it “covered "without your input • Criticism - fear of your idea being evaluated harshly • Social matching effect - shutting down your contributions to match the productivity of the group • The illusion of group productivity thinking the group has found enough ideas Discovering New Test Ideas v6 © Karen N. Johnson, 2013 8 4
  7. 7. 8/20/2013 Exercise: Brainstorming 1. Break into teams 2. Work with the problem assigned to your team 3. Refine the problem. Make the problem specific. 4. Collect a quantity of ideas 5. In a second session you will have time to go back and evaluate ideas Discovering New Test Ideas v6 heu·ris·tic © Karen N. Johnson, 2013 9 a Greek word meaning "find" or "discover" Definition of HEURISTIC : involving or serving as an aid to learning, discovery, or problemsolving by experimental and especially trial-and-error methods <heuristic techniques> <a heuristic assumption>; also : of or relating to exploratory problem-solving techniques that utilize self educating techniques (as the evaluation of feedback) to improve performance Discovering New Test Ideas v6 © Karen N. Johnson, 2013 10 5
  8. 8. 8/20/2013 Exercise: Heuristic card deck 1. 2. 3. 4. In groups, use the heuristic card deck. In groups, review the heuristics cheat sheet. Make a note of heuristics that helped. Make a note of confusions and apprehensions using either "tool." Discovering New Test Ideas v6 © Karen N. Johnson, 2013 11 The Phoenix Checklist The Phoenix Checklist is list of questions developed by the CIA to encourage agents to consider a problem from different angles by using a series of questions. Process: 1. Determine the problem you want to resolve. 2. Write the problem down. 3. Use the questions to resolve the problem. Discovering New Test Ideas v6 © Karen N. Johnson, 2013 12 6
  9. 9. 8/20/2013 13 14 7
  10. 10. 8/20/2013 The "tourist" metaphor Here's a list of tours from Michael Kelly. FCC CUTS VIDS is the mnemonic he devised for: • • • • • • • • • • • Feature Complexity Claims Configuration User Testability Scenario Variability Interoperability Data Structure Discovering New Test Ideas v6 © Karen N. Johnson, 2013 15 Tours from James Whittaker • • • • • • • • • • business district: where the business gets done historical district: legacy code tourist district: novice users entertainment district: supportive features seedy district: unsavory and illegal operations landmark tour: create a landmark coverage map FedEx tour: where data moves through morning commute: startup tasks and procedures after hours: maintenance tasks, backup files intellectual tour: ask the software hard questions Discovering New Test Ideas v6 © Karen N. Johnson, 2013 16 8
  11. 11. 8/20/2013 Exercise: tours testing 1. In groups, review the tours testing concept 2. Make a note of tours you feel would be helpful 3. Make a note of confusions and apprehensions using the tours concept. Discovering New Test Ideas v6 © Karen N. Johnson, 2013 17 There are constraints on nearly all projects. Typical constraints: • time • money • resources • deadlines Discovering New Test Ideas v6 © Karen N. Johnson, 2013 18 9
  12. 12. 8/20/2013 Exercise: $100 constraint matrix 1. Complete the $100 matrix as a team. 2. Your team has $100 to spend and more than $100 of items to “fund.” 3. Your team will need to choose what to fund and what not to fund. 4. When your team is done, have a representative from your team explain what your team chose and how your team made those decisions Discovering New Test Ideas v6 © Karen N. Johnson, 2013 19 20 10
  13. 13. 8/20/2013 Exercise: Brainstorming Part 2 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Return to your teams Review all the materials provided today as well as the idea list your team created at the start of the class. What testing techniques do you feel your team can implement? Now is the time to judge the ideas~ Designate a speaker(s) to provide a team debrief. Discovering New Test Ideas v6 © Karen N. Johnson, 2013 21 Resources Books • Thinkertoys by Michael Michalko • Gamestorming by Dave Gray, Sunni Brown and James Macanufo • Applied Imagination by Alex F. Osborn • Exploratory Software Testing by James Whittaker Discovering New Test Ideas v6 Phoenix Checklist • Cem Kaner & Andy Tinkham: http://www.kaner.com/pdfs/Explorin gExploratoryTesting.pdf • Michael Bolton • http://www.developsense.com/blog/ 2010/11/context-free-questions-fortesting/ © Karen N. Johnson, 2013 22 11
  14. 14. 8/20/2013 Brainstorming variations • Group passing - write an idea, pass your paper onto the next person until the paper is back to the originator • Team idea mapping - brainstorm alone then share with the group, build a map together of the ideas (may form an affinity map). • 6-3-5 - 6 participants, 3 ideas every 5 minutes. • 3-12-3 - 3 minutes for generating a pool of observations, 12 for combining observations to ideas and 3 for presenting concepts to the group. Discovering New Test Ideas v6 © Karen N. Johnson, 2013 23 Thank you For being here! Feedback is appreciated. Karen N. Johnson Copyright 2013 Discovering New Test Ideas v6 © Karen N. Johnson, 2013 24 12

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