How do you keep Fresh Ideas Flowing?

Hi All

Last week at Software Testing Club, I came across a discussion started by Michele Smith on “How do you keep Fresh Ideas Flowing?” for testing.

I felt it is one of the most important questions but sadly very rarely discussed in our community.

This was my take on the question, what’s yours?

I have had team members complaining that it's boring to test the same program with no new features. I have also observed a pattern, testers who complain this way, usually are very enthusiastic when they begin testing but loose their interest may be after 1-2 weeks or so irrespective of the module they test. One of the reason I feel they get bored is because they run out of ideas to test. As a test lead one of my challenges have always been to keep myself and my team on the look out for information always.

Like in a recent assignment I found the number of bugs reported by my team dropping, when we sat together, I felt the ideas running out in the team – we initially focused on exploring the system with functional and domain related missions. After the discussion we changed the focus from functional & domain to Flow tests - explained the team on what to be targeted in flow tests and what could be the observations to note running flow tests – and what a change I observed I felt the energy was back, they liked testing the same module again without any new changes. If they again run out of energy I still have user testing, risk, stress, variability, etc lined up.
(I have found The Heuristic Test Strategy Model by James Bach extremely helpful in fact I have a print out of the model posted in my bay along with several others which keeps reminding me of the endless ideas/possibilities to test a product :)

When we feel like we are running out of ideas I feel we should change our approach/thinking a bit and the ideas start rolling.

Disclaimer: All the blogs shared by me are my ideas, my thought, my understanding of the subject and does not represent any of my employer’s ideas, thought, plans or strategies.


Ravisuriya said...

I have found this 36 Testing heuristics that helps me in identifying and giving the information by generating the Test Ideas.

The 36 Testing heuristics (given by James Bach and Michael Bolton) which helps me are:

Customers, Information, Developer Relations, Team, Equipment & Tools, Schedule, Test Items, Deliverables, Structures, Functions, Data, Platforms, Operations, Time, Capability, Reliability, Usability, Security, Scalability, Performance, Installability, Compatibility, Supportability, Testability, Maintainability, Portability, Localizability, Function Testing, Domain Testing, Stress Testing, Flow Testing, Scenario Testing, Claims Testing, User Testing, Risk Testing and Automatic Testing.

Some times, the heuristics that I think of also, will relate to the same above 36 Testing heuristics. But, still I have to work, practice and think much on how can I use this to full extent i.e., above 36 heuristics because this will keep fetching with lot of informations.

Also I learnt few lessons that taught me, "We not only get information from the computer, when we use/execute the designed & implemented product; but, the informations can also be got from around us i.e., we and the application under test.".

This always keeps test ideas to be generating, with a question in mind.



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