Monitor your personal “test idea creation” process

At my job it was very busy the last year. Unfortunately that meant I had not much time to take good care of my team members when it comes to coaching and mentoring. One of the things that I am interested most in my colleagues is the way how they think while testing. How does their model look like, how do they approach the situation. If I know about that, I can adapt my language and my “public” model, I can help them to understand things better and faster. And that also gives me the opportunity to know what articles, books, webinars or courses to push forward to them to help improve their skills.

Lately I had some spare hours and I tried to improve their testing skills a bit further. My intention was that they actively think about the actions they take when they analyse a requirement document and create a test plan and strategy for approaching and testing that requirement. So I gave them the following instructions:

When you read and transfer an information from the BRD (business requirement document) to a test idea, try to find out some answers to the following questions for yourself:

  • how you came up with this idea?
  • why you came up with this idea?
  • was this the first thing that popped up?
  • are there other things to mention (ideas, information, etc.)?
  • will I write down other ideas as well?
    • if not, why not?
    • if yes, all of them?
      • if not, why not?
  • where does this thing fit in the existing picture/model?
  • what picture/model you ask?
    • if there is no picture/model, why not? Are you sure?
  • are there questions you want to ask?
    • to whom?
  • are there sources you want to use for more test ideas?
    • why did you not already use them?

Don’t answer them to me in the first place, answer them to yourself. Answer them for every single idea you come up with. If you start giving the same answers over and over again. Why is that? Would you like to change something? If yes, where and why? There is a good reason for all of those questions, so please take them serious and take your time to think about them.

I can give you several reasons for all of the above questions, can you too?

I know that this list of questions is not even close to complete. The intention was to start an active thinking process, what they are doing when and WHY. That way they might enable themselves to a more structured approach and get ideas where to improve themselves or find opportunities, where I can help them to improve or learn new things.

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