FeatureA will be ready to test soon. You may want to think about how you will test FeatureA. Let’s call this activity “Test Planning”. In Test Planning, you are not actually interacting with the product-under-test. You are thinking about how you might do it. Your Test Planning might include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Make a list of test ideas you can think of. A Test Idea is the smallest amount of information that can capture the essence of a test.
- Grok FeatureA: Analyze the requirements document. Talk to available people.
- Interact with the product-under-test before it includes FeatureA.
- Prepare the test environment data and configurations you will use to test.
- Note any specific test data you will use.
- Determine what testing you will need help with (e.g., testing someone else should do).
- Determine what not to test.
- Share your test plan with anyone who might care. At least share the test ideas (first bullet) with the product programmers while they code.
- If using automation, design the check(s). Stub them out.
All the above are Test Planning activities. About four of the above resulted in something you wrote down. If you wrote them in one place, you have an artifact. The artifact can be thought of as a Test Plan. As you begin testing (interacting with the product-under-test), I think you can use the Test Plan one of two ways:
- Morph it into “Test Notes” (or “Test Results”).
- Refer to it then throw it away.
Either way, we don’t need the Test Plan after the testing. Just like we don’t need those other above Test Planning activities after the testing. Plans are more useful before the thing they plan.
Execution is more valuable than a plan. A goal of a skilled tester is to report on what was learned during testing. The Test Notes are an excellent way to do this. Attach the Test Notes to your User Story. Test Planning is throwaway.