Documentation and Governance

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    I work for a fairly large financial institution which has an in-house testing service of which I am part of.

    Presently we are looking at the volume of weighty documentation that is produced. My objection to these documents is that they are generic templates which are used very badly. I have agreed to help streamline the content to a much slicker item with the objective to:

    • reduce time spent by the author
    • ensure the test objectives are clear
    • ensure the reader can review quickly (as opposed to the 53 page monstrosities I’ve recently seen!

    My question – what documentation do people have to produce in their roles?



    We are quite small and lacking in documentation but I encourage the team to add pages about functionality and anything special/useful:

    How to set up test data for a specific test
    Flow diagram/decision diagrams which show the different scenarios
    Mind Maps of what is being tested (we have one big master mind map and take branches as appropriate and expand these and copy them back in)
    Tutorials on certain tools

    Is this the sort of thing you were looking for?

    We are not audited in the test department so do not have to follow certain templates like many financial institutions.


    That’s great Kim thanks.

    Your answer is the sort of idea that I’m trying to understand. Obviously we’re going to cover a wide range of groups here and some will be heavily audited and some not so much. Essentially the heart of the conversation is understanding what / if there are core criteria that needs to be documented.

    I’m fairly simplistic I look to cover: What I’m looking to test; How I’m going to test “it” and Who is going to need to be involved. There is a school of thought running around that I need pages and pages of docs which seem to tick boxes rather than add value – I’m hoping that’s not representative of what testers are expected to do across other areas 🙂

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