Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Reformat to Rethink

So I'm working on a new theory.

You should change your test plan format every few releases.

Let's step back and think about this for a minute.

Over time, we stop finding issues with the test plan we're using. We're wearing the same old pathways through the system.

We need a way to shake things up. Regression tests are great, but there are always new things to find. Looking at things the same way encourages us to think about them the same way.

Consequently, we change our test plan format every couple of releases. It's the same stuff, just formatted differently.  The theory is that looking in a new way at the same tests helps us see the whole system differently.

The downside to this, of course, is that it makes it a lot harder to compare results across releases.

Anyone else trying anything like this? How's it working for you?


  1. I totally agree. I think this is one of those things that can be difficult to justify initially, but has great benefits when you actually see it through. I've done this before almost accidentally, where I no longer liked the test plan, and started it over again from scatch. I've found a great benefit in doing that. I think rewriting the test plan with different people can always help keep the perspective fresh or even getting someone else to write it, and then adding to it after they're done.

  2. I like to think that a good day of adhoc testing with fresh eyes on a project can lead to several emergent ways of testing something that previously had been considered very well combed over. I am also not above tweaking my test plans, I try to keep my documents as 'living' as possible. Testing can be a very organic process and should be allowed room to grow and expand to meet its end goals.