Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday's Musings - Reduce Redundancy

Where do we typically see redundancy? Test cases and test plan.

We have to try to reduce this redundancy for the following reasons
  • Waste of time - if we are repeating the same step or steps in more than one test case we are loosing time that could be used for actual testing or other activities.
  • Painful to update and change - if one of those steps that is common in a couple of test cases changes, we have to manually go through all the tests to change them
What should we do?
  • Create call tests or test templates when you know you have a bunch of steps that will be common in quite a few test cases
  • Create a matrix to make sure you are not over testing. You only need tests to cover requirements and if you can combine requirements in a test case, go ahead and do it.
  • Use automation if possible to get some of the redundancy out of the way.
  • For test plan if there are sections that you repeat release after release, think about pulling it out into a handbook or a master test plan where you can maintain this in one place for all release. Have change control on the document to indicate changes when its applicable.


Michael Bolton said...

Hi, Shilpa...

You say "you only need test cases to cover requirements". Might you also need tests to uncover requirements, or to discover requirements that are real, but hidden or unstated?

One way to reduce redundancy is to relax your specification of test cases, and to prepare more generally in terms of test ideas and test heuristics. Try focusing on recording what actually happens as you're testing, and relaxing your focus on trying to anticipate a future that might not come to pass.

---Michael B.

shilpa said...

Thank you for your comment Michael. Writing test cases at a high level and adding details as we test.
Can you explain test heuristics?

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