Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mind Mapping the HTSM

I'm excited to report that Atlassian (the developer of Jira and lots of other software tools) has been running a variety of posts on their Developer's Blog regarding testing topics.

Atlassian reached out to me and asked me if I'd be interested in contributing something, and I responded by talking about James Bach's Heuristic Test Strategy Model and how it can open up the interview process for testers and help them ferret out information from programs, ranging from as small as at the unit test level, to as large as a fully integrated suite of sophisticated applications (think GoogleDocs or OpenOffice).

The post went live yesterday and judging from the hit counts from my analytics stats, it seems to be bringing quite a bit of Australia and New Zealand traffic here. To that, I give great thanks. If you'd like to check out the post, please head on over and tell them you came from here.

The HTSM is a core component of the new Black Box Software Testing course on Test Design. One of the things that we did in the Test Design pilot was to look at the HTSM and create a mind map for a product and use the HTSM as the criteria to set up the map. It was an interesting exercise, but it led me to ask "what if I mind mapped the entire HTSM?" This may be of limited value to some, but what I find to be a significant boost is that, for each area, I can expand and collapse branches and find relevant questions (and if they're not relevant, I can roll them back up and get them out of my way).

For those who would like to use this mind map, and copy it and expand on it for their own projects, please feel free to, you can reach the live link for the map here (you will need to have XMind installed if you want to modify it). My goal is to get more testers familiar with this approach and to help them develop more dynamic and context-driven test strategies that will make the most sense for the product that is actually being tested, and not some made-up Utopian product that may never exist.  Here's hoping that it gives you an edge and a way to have the questions at your fingertips as you test.

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