Discovering New Test Ideas: Getting that Burst of Creativity

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Feel your testing’s stuck in a rut? Looking for new ways to discover test ideas? Wondering if your testers have constructive methods to discover different approaches for testing? In this interactive session, Karen Johnson explains how to use heuristics to find new ideas. After a brief discussion, Karen has you apply and practice with a variety of heuristics. Need to step back and consider some of your testing challenges from a fresh perspective? This workshop explores the use of the CIA’s tool, the Phoenix Checklist, a set of intentionally designed context-free questions that can help you look at a problem or challenge from a fresh perspective. Karen reviews the fun and useful tool of brainstorming and variations on brainstorming that you can use with your team. Come join a session designed to explore creative ways to strengthen your approach to testing.

Transcript of Discovering New Test Ideas: Getting that Burst of Creativity

PowerPoint Presentation

TE AM Tutorial

10/1/2013 8:30:00 AM

"Discovering New Test Ideas:

Getting that Burst of Creativity"

Presented by:

Karen Johnson

Software Test Management, Inc.

Brought to you by:

340 Corporate Way, Suite 300, Orange Park, FL 32073

888-268-8770 904-278-0524 sqeinfo@sqe.com www.sqe.com

Karen N. Johnson

Software Test Management, Inc.

Karen N. Johnson is a software test consultant, working on-site and remotely to help her clients

build testing teams and strengthen their testing practice. Karen is considered an expert in

software testing and has been part of the context-driven software testing community for a

number of years. She is a frequent speaker at testing conferences; a contributing author to the

book, Beautiful Testing; and co-founder of WREST, the Workshop on Regulated Software

Testing. Karen has published numerous articles and blogs about her experiences with software

testing.

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Discovering New Test Ideas

Karen N. Johnson Copyright 2013

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about: Karen N. Johnson

Software Test Consultant

Published Author

Teach Software Testing

Co-founder of WREST, the Workshop

on Regulated Software Testing

Site: www.karennjohnson.com

Twitter: karennjohnson

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Is there space in our work for

creativity?

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What stops us? Mental locks

1. The right answer 2. Thats not logical 3. Follow the rules 4. Be practical 5. Play is frivolous 6. Thats not my area 7. Avoid ambiguity 8. Dont be foolish 9. To err is wrong 10. Im not creative

Roger von Oech, A What on the Side of the Head

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agenda

Introduction

Exercise: the cup

Brainstorming explained

Exercise: brainstorming

Heuristics explained

Exercise: heuristics

The Phoenix Checklist explained

Exercise: The Phoenix Checklist

Tours Explained

Exercise: tours

$100 Test explained

Exercise $100 test

Exercise: Brainstorming Part 2

Team Debriefs 5

Exercise: the cup

The premise

We all get overloaded with demands and distraction.

A solution

Empty what is on your mind onto the paper provided. You do not need to share or discuss the paper, it is yours.

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about: Brainstorming

Originated by Alex F. Osborn

Start with a specific question

Guidelines:

1. Defer judgment

2. Quantity is wanted

3. Free-wheeling is welcome (the wilder an idea, the better)

4. Combination and improvement to ideas

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Brainstorming Blockers

Free riding - not contributing because you feel the group has it covered "without your input

Criticism - fear of your idea being evaluated harshly

Social matching effect - shutting down your contributions to match the productivity of the group

The illusion of group productivity - thinking the group has found enough ideas

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Exercise: Brainstorming

1. Break into teams

2. Work with the problem assigned to your team

3. Refine the problem. Make the problem specific.

4. Collect a quantity of ideas

5. In a second session you will have time to go back and evaluate ideas

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heuristic

Definition of HEURISTIC : involving or serving as an aid to learning, discovery, or problem-solving by experimental and especially trial-and-error methods ; also : of or relating to exploratory problem-solving techniques that utilize self educating techniques (as the evaluation of feedback) to improve performance

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a Greek word meaning "find" or "discover"

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Exercise: Heuristic card deck

1. In groups, use the heuristic card deck.

2. In groups, review the heuristics cheat sheet.

3. Make a note of heuristics that helped.

4. Make a note of confusions and apprehensions using either "tool."

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The Phoenix Checklist

The Phoenix Checklist is list of questions developed by the CIA to encourage agents to consider a problem from different angles by using a series of questions. Process: 1. Determine the problem you want to resolve. 2. Write the problem down. 3. Use the questions to resolve the problem.

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The "tourist" metaphor

Here's a list of tours from Michael Kelly. FCC CUTS VIDS is the mnemonic he devised for: Feature Complexity Claims Configuration User Testability Scenario Variability Interoperability Data Structure

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Tours from James Whittaker

business district: where the business gets done

historical district: legacy code

tourist district: novice users

entertainment district: supportive features

seedy district: unsavory and illegal operations

landmark tour: create a landmark coverage map

FedEx tour: where data moves through

morning commute: startup tasks and procedures

after hours: maintenance tasks, backup files

intellectual tour: ask the software hard questions

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Exercise: tours testing

1. In groups, review the tours testing concept

2. Make a note of tours you feel would be helpful

3. Make a note of confusions and apprehensions using the tours concept.

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There are constraints on nearly all projects. Typical constraints: time money resources deadlines

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Exercise: $100 constraint matrix

1. Complete the $100 matrix as a team.

2. Your team has $100 to spend and more than $100 of items to fund.

3. Your team will need to choose what to fund and what not to fund.

4. When your team is done, have a representative from your team explain what your team chose and how your team made those decisions

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Exercise: Brainstorming Part 2

1. Return to your teams

2. Review all the materials provided today as well as the idea list your team created at the start of the class.

3. What testing techniques do you feel your team can implement?

4. Now is the time to judge the ideas~

5. Designate a speaker(s) to provide a team debrief.

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Resources

Books

Thinkertoys by Michael Michalko

Gamestorming by Dave Gray, Sunni Brown and James Macanufo

Applied Imagination by Alex F. Osborn

Exploratory Software Testing by James Whittaker

Phoenix Checklist

Cem Kaner & Andy Tinkham: http://www.kaner.com/pdfs/ExploringExploratoryTesting.pdf

Michael Bolton

http://www.developsense.com/blog/2010/11/context-free-questions-for-testing/

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Brainstorming variations

Group passing - write an idea, pass your paper onto the next person until the paper is back to the originator

Team idea mapping - brainstorm alone

then share with the group, build a map together of the ideas (may form an affinity map).

6-3-5 - 6 participants, 3 ideas every 5 minutes.

3-12-3 - 3 minutes for generating a pool of observations, 12 for combining observations to ideas and 3 for presenting concepts to the group.

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Thank you For being here! Feedback is appreciated.

Karen N. Johnson Copyright 2013

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