Back to Basics, write down your objective before you start testing

It happens to me all the time that I start testing and as I move along my steps (or my application if I am working on an exploratory task) the thoughts in my head and bugs that I find take me along paths and routes I didn’t plan ahead.
This is not an issue by itself, but the problem is that sometimes I finish my run and then I realize that I completely missed the objectives that prompted me to start testing in the first place…

This is why I started doing a simple exercise each time I start a test: write down my testing objectives on a piece of paper.  I then place this piece of paper next to my keyboard and start my test.

As I find or think of additional things that should be tested or reviewed I make an additional note on the piece or paper and continue; sometimes I start immediately with these new cases, other times I continue with my previous ones, but now I am sure I won’t forget them.
As I cover the things in my dynamic-yet-static list I mark them down and move on.

Since the piece of paper is right in front of my eyes, it is not something that I need to constantly open or refresh, its simply there.  And I always know what I need to cover in my tests before I can call my test complete and done.

Sometimes the beauty in life comes from the simple things…

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2 Responses to Back to Basics, write down your objective before you start testing

  1. Rob Lambert April 17, 2009 at 11:06 am #


    Nice. I like it. Simple but effective.

    Gonna give that a try today.


  2. Joel Montvelisky April 17, 2009 at 2:32 pm #

    Yes Joe, I meant write…
    Thanks for the catch!

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