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Use Test Trees To Get An Overview Of The Test Work

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Most testers have experience in the use of the classic test case design techniques to get inspiration for what we can test for a system or a part of a system, a so-called feature set or test-area.  A feature set could be one or more user interfaces with underlying functionality or an internal component. But if the feature set is complicated and/or voluminous, then it can be difficult to get on overview of what you could test, and hence also difficult to decide what you are going to test to get an acceptable test coverage. Based on actual user interfaces and rules this presentation will show how to construct a ‘Test Tree’ for a feature set.

A Test Tree could be compared to a simple version of a cause-effect graph or to a classification tree, where the coverage items for a the test conditions in a feature set are organized, so that you get an overview over, what can be tested for the feature set. Based on for example a risk analysis it is possible to choose the coverage items to test to achieve a coverage of for example 60 % coverage for the entire feature set, disregarding which techniques are used to derive the coverage items.

Test Trees can be used for any feature set no matter its size, and can, in addition to simple coverage also be used as the basis for more comprehensive testing, e.g. in the form of combinations of simple coverage elements.

Test Trees may also be used to express the expectations for a part of the system to be developed, for example to express precise and comprehensive acceptance criteria for user stories.

Come and get inspiration for using Test Trees for your testing; it will make your test more clear and visible.

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Anne Mette Hass (NNIT, Denmark)

Anne Mette has worked in software testing for over 30 years. She is interested in the technical aspect of testing as well as in the human aspect; after all, testers are people, people are different, and differences should be understood and respected. Anne Mette has written the book “Guide to Advanced Software Testing” and taught ISTQB Foundation and Advanced Test Manager and Advanced Analyst numerous times. She has spoken at many conferences over most of the world and is fluent in English even though it is not her mother tongue.

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