Uncovering the Truth of Test Documents in the Agile Environment | David Tzemach

One of the major activities in the testing process is the production of test documentation. As an Agile team, we should prefer “Working Software Over Comprehensive Documentation”, while keeping in mind that the documentation is a vital part of the development process and we cannot simply ignore it.

When developing a product, the organization must produce documentation that does not directly impact the development process, such as online help guides, user manuals, etc. That said, let’s focus on documentation that has an impact on the development process and ask ourselves “what about test documentation?” This is probably the first thing that testers ask when they first hear “Working Software Over Comprehensive Documentation”.

To answer this question, I want to share some insights that explain my own opinion of test documentation:

  • Writing test scenarios is a simple matter when you understand how the system works, do not make it a ritual that takes days that you simply do not have.

  • It is a fact that no one loves writing thousands of test scenarios.

  • No matter how hard you try, there is always a person who will fail to understand the idea behind some of your test scenarios.

  • No matter how hard you try, two weeks into the project you will lose the ability to maintain your test documents.

  • A few weeks into the project, no one will know about the original test design that you prepared.

  • Test cases must be written in the simplest way possible. If your testers are writing them with a million steps, I guarantee that no one executing them will use all the original steps.

  • Ask yourself this, how many bugs have you found based on a specific test case, and how many bugs are found without a dedicated test case?

  • How many test cases written by your team do not add real value to the overall effort but are used to blow up the number of tests.

  • How many times has your team complained during a project that they put too much effort into writing tests instead of actual testing?

  • The more efficient way to handle test documentation is to use a mind-map template or dedicated checklists.