Mind maps are unstructured way of taking notes. Usage of Mindmaps will always enable us to effectively organise the information/thoughts and would make any process easier. The beauty of the mind maps as it name indicates is, it interprets the way your mind thinks and allows you to take notes in the same fashion. While mind maps are not new for many of us, let me bring my perspective on how am I finding mind maps for software testing testing and how helpful it can be.
I start with identifying different areas to be considered as an initial step of planning new testing effort. As I identify all key areas, I start exploring each area to look if I have enough information to perform testing. Putting this on a mind map gives me a glimpse of what has been explored and what is pending. This reduces typical ambiguity factor in planning phase, keeps me on track and helps me review my progress all the time.
Explore and create test ideas simultaneously
While I take a tour of new features in a release or exploring a new application under test, I come across several test ideas on the fly. I frequently tend to lose them by the time I start creating tests for the application.
Creating a mind map during exploration helps me not lose any test ideas. This helps me a great deal to identify the features added, make a note of tests I come across during exploration, and questions I may have – do all of them simultaneously.
Helps in Estimation
At the end of exploration, I will have my map with set of features, tests and questions. It’s lot easier with maps as I have each one of them in different nodes – Tests & Questions. It’s all organised, take questions and get them clarified and update my map with clarifications.
A Comprehensive map also gives me a holistic view of all possible tests (approximate) involved in current testing efforts. This gives me a better understanding of level of efforts involved and estimate appropriately.
I use Xmind software to create mind maps now have made mind maps as integral part of my planning and other testing activities. The more you dive in, the more benefits you have using mind maps! Comment below if you have had your own experiences with Mind maps for software testing.
Balaji has been testing applications for over 8 years now.