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Mind Maps For Software Testing – Benefits and Application

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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.

Planning

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.

Mind Maps For Software Testing

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.

Mind Maps For Software Testing

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.

  

About author

 Balaji has been testing applications for over 8 years now.

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3 comments to Mind Maps For Software Testing – Benefits and Application

  1. @halperinko - Kobi Halperin says:

    And yet – what is the big benefit in using Mind-Maps in compare to using any ALM tool tree …
    Yes MM are great hype,
    Yes MM can be used to visualize things to yourself and others,
    Yes MM may be more colorful
    No – MM are not good in keeping lots of information,
    No – MM are then not useful to keep track of progress

    I’m still hoping to see MM integrated within ALMs just to present the data in reviews,
    Other than that tools Trees may be improved with more colors and icons – but that’s not a must.
    They may also be improved to require less clicks per node insertion – again – mostly there and nice to have.
    Tests Breakdown in a tree are much easier to search through,
    All data is written directly to the DB,
    and additional info such as cycles results can be added and tracked.
    So what’s the big benefit of MM? – other than its just a “sexy topic” (I am still searching for that…)

    @halperinko – Kobi Halperin

    • Balaji says:

      Kobi,

      Thanks for bringing this up!

      Mythoughts- I think Mindmaps are more into exploratory note taking and may not fit traditional application life cycle management. They may not be a complete replacement for test cases. However, we can capture tests with lesser detail than test cases. I agree that they may not keep on track with huge information, but when the efforts are broken down, they might be useful, particularly for beginners. For products where we do not have a traditional testing process, atleast having mindmaps can make tester accountable.

      Cheers!

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