New Model Testing: A New Test Process And Tool
The value of documentation prepared in structured/waterfall or agile projects is often of dubious value. In structured projects, the planning documentation is prepared in a knowledge vacuum – where the requirements are not stable, and the system under test is not available. In agile projects – where time is short and other priorities exist – not much may get written down anyway. Paul believes the only test documentation that could be captured reliably and be trusted must be captured contemporaneously with exploration and test.
The only way to do this would be using a pair tester or a bot to capture the thoughts of a tester as they express them. So Paul has built a prototype robot that can capture the findings of the tester as they explore and test. The bot can be driven by a paired tester, but it has a speech recognition front-end so it can be used as a virtual pair.
From using the bot, it is clear that a new exploration and planning metaphor is required – Paul suggests Surveying – and we also need a new test process.
Paul describes his experiences of building and using a bot for paired testing and also propose a new test process suitable for both high integrity and agile environments. His bot – codenamed System Surveyor – builds a model of the system as you explore and captures test ideas, risks and questions and generates structured test documentation as a by-product.
- Exploratory testing is not acceptable to high integrity environments because they need to create comprehensive documentation, but structured test plans are rarely accurate.
- Using the stripped down thought process of the New Model for Testing, Paul proposes a new approach to testing.
- A bot, created to capture the thoughts of testers as they explore and test is proving to be a useful partner and generator of accurate documentation.