As we all know visual aid is more powerful than any other mode of learning. This has proven many times that people will remember the creative visual aid than learning the things traditionally.
Usually we have seen people explaining presentations by chalking the lines, circles, and squares on board or through PowerPoint point slides.
But have we ever thought representing it in more creative way? Have we ever thought to make it more colorful?
If not, please read the below article to present your ideas in more creative way.
What is Mind Mapping?
A mind map is a graphical representation of ideas and concepts. It is a creative and logical way of advanced note-taking using symbols, colors, mind shapes, words, lines and images. This helps you to structuring information, helping you to understand requirements in better way, helps you to analyze, to cover the data comprehensively and moreover its fun!!
Why Mind Map is Required?
When we have many conventional methods why we need mind map? How this is different from concept maps.
- Increases creativity
- Simple to implement the idea in creative way
- Very flexible and easy to maintain the mind maps.
- Provide more coverage.
- Can position all the data at one place (you need visit different portals every time).
- Can represent to management without any hurdle and confusion.
- We can mark different areas in different way to make it more attractive.
Where Mind Maps Can Be Used For:
Mind map is not limited for particular problems and ideas. It is open to create maps for every idea you have. Just you need to have good idea and intuitive knowledge about the subject.
- Problem solving
- Structural representations
- Team planning
- Condensing material into compact and effective format
- To graph team activity.
Mind Map in Software Testing
Testing is huge area of ideas and creativity. Every phase of testing has its own methods and terminologies. It is up to the individual where to apply mind map in software testing. It is always advisable to have good understanding and ground work of internal branches of testing phase which you are planning to chalk out. We need to collect all those thoughts into one place.
Find the below few examples which could help you to frame your ideas.
Work Assignment on Software Project – Mind Map
This is about total work assigned to you for one release. What data you need to collect to map your ideas. A sample and simple example,
- Start with the release name and year (like: June’12 Major Release)
- Collect all requirements assigned to you.(Like: CRs,SR,ITRs)
- Collect requirement numbers.
- Collect the requirement names and program name under which these requirement falls.
- Collect charge codes provided to each requirement.
- Collect Developer, Development lead and Development manager names (It helps to catch development team when we face issue)
- Similarly collect Testing team details. This helps you not hit internal websites every time if someone asks you to provide details.
- Collect analyst details. This is to get clarification on your requirements.
- Collect the iteration details (start date, end date, number) under which iteration the requirement comes.
- Collect all the links and credentials from where you access these details
A Small analysis of this mind map,
- Requirement square has a small pen and book like symbol; it indicates that it has some notes move cursor on requirements or those notes you can see in the bottom.
- Requirement numbers and flags. Flag is for severity of the requirement, here Red flag indicates that it is a critical requirement and with iteration number 1.
- See the graphical hyperlink join between ‘Dev team’ and ‘SR12345’. It means this dev team has developed this requirement.
- Joined one more graphical presentation from ‘Tester’ to ‘SR12345’ – This means these testers are responsible for testing these requirements.
- Also notice Local hyper link symbol (green arrow mark) in ‘Links and Credentials’ square – This is connected between ‘Links and Credentials’ and Requirements. Click on ‘Links and Credentials’ will redirect you to ‘Requirements’ square.
Requirement Traceability Matrix Mind Map
Traceability concept is very important for testing perspective. This maps testing requirements to testcases by preparing test traceability matrix. Through this we have to ensure that we have covered all the testing functionality of the application.
Traceability between requirements and other downstream components like tests, task, team, milestones can be achieved from mind map.
One of the simple example we have mapped using mind map tool:
[Click to enlarge image]
This is how I have mapped my requirements and again this is depending on the user how he assigns the value to symbols.
Similarly mind map can be used in any phase of the testing. Few more scenarios listed here, you can try these in your company.
- Test case creation from Use case / Requirements.
- General report management.
- Automation test script management.
- Team management.
- Daily or weekly meetings.
Mind Map Guidelines
Tony Buzan (Inventor of Mind Mapping) suggests 7 steps for making a successful mind map.
Mind Mapping Examples in Software Testing
Please access below links for more testing mind maps
- Example 1 – Test Planning using mind map
- Example 2 – Software Testing Interactive Mind map
- Example 3 – Software testing types mind map
Free Mind Mapping Software
Many freeware mind mapping tools are available in market. You can try any mind map tool which works for your ideas. Few free tools listed below which I’m familiar with.
About Author: This is a guest post by Nataraj Kanchyani. He is working as a Senior Software Engineer-Testing at Centurylink Technologies India Pvt Ltd, Bangalore.
Want to share more ideas for using mind mapping in software testing? Please comment your experience using mind mapping tools and techniques.