The test plan redefined


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The test plan redefined

  1. 1. Confidential The Test Plan Redefined A container for information or a vessel in the journey towards knowledge Rev PA1 2011-10-26 1
  2. 2. The 10 Minute Test Plan [2] James Whittaker describes a problem where test plans are made and then never used again Resources are spent creating test plans that after creation have no informative value By forcing testers to create a test plan in 10 minutes he tries to boil down to the core of what is important and necessary in a test plan Only information that is necessary for the day-to-day work of a tester
  3. 3. Google Test Analytics [1] A group at Google set about creating a methodology that can replace a test plan, which they have called ACC. It needed to be comprehensive, quick, actionable, and have sustained value to a project, The ACC methodology creates a matrix that describes your project completely; several projects that have used it internally at Google have found coverage areas that were missing in their conventional test plans.
  4. 4. What is the purpose of a Test Plan? Is the purpose to continuously provide information about the project? Is it an automatic risk matrix? Or is it a tool to support the tester in a journey towards better understanding and knowledge about how to work more efficiently and effectively? There is a difference between information and knowledge [3] If we only care about information, it could be argued that Googles approach is the most effective
  5. 5. Information vs. Knowledge [3]
  6. 6. Competence If the goal of the test plan is to help the tester on the journey towards knowledge, an automated risk matrix may not be the best way forward Of course this requires a will to improve and learn by the tester If test plans are all copy-pastes of each other then of course they will not facilitate learning But if the tester takes the creation of the test plan seriously, and uses it as a tool to learn, then it should be structured in a way that facilitates learning
  7. 7. Learning
  8. 8. Test Plan Structure to facilitate learning A test plan should be the documentation of a discussion between testers and developers working in the same project – it can not be the work of a single mind A test plan should be updated when the testers get more practical experience from test execution and development A test plan should include visualizations to facilitate learning The test plan should be an instrument which senior testers use to transfer knowledge to junior testers
  9. 9. Dreyfus Model of Skill Acquisition [4]Confidential 1. Novice 4. Proficient  "rigid adherence to taught rules or plans"  holistic view of situation  no exercise of "discretionary judgment"  prioritizes importance of aspects  "perceives deviations from the normal 2. Advanced beginner pattern"  limited "situational perception"  employs maxims for guidance, with meanings that adapt to the situation at  all aspects of work treated separately hand with equal importance 5. Expert 3. Competent  transcends reliance on rules, guidelines,  "coping with crowdedness" (multiple and maxims activities, accumulation of information)  "intuitive grasp of situations based on  some perception of actions in relation to deep, tacit understanding" goals  has "vision of what is possible"  deliberate planning  uses "analytical approaches" in new  formulates routines situations or in case of problems Rev PA1 2011-10-26 9
  10. 10. Test Plan Structure to facilitate learning A test plan should ask questions which forces the tester to think But there must also be a framework to support the tester and facilitate learning Examples and standardized lists help the tester to start thinking about the right questions, but the test plan still needs flexibility to allow the tester to write down what is important for learning Allow for different levels of skilled testers to use the test plan in a way that allows for them to improve and learn – guidelines and help for beginners, flexibility for experienced testers
  11. 11. Conclusion Depending on the purpose of the test plan it can be structured in different ways If the test plan is only a container for information – an automatically updated risk matrix, then you have one approach If the test plan is a vessel in the testers journey towards knowledge, then you have another approach It is important to understand the pros and cons with both approaches, and understand the difference between knowledge and information
  12. 12. Reference[1]Google Test Analytics[2]10-minute Test Plan[3]DIKW Hierarchy[4] Dreyfus Model of Skill Acquisition