Mind Mapping in Software Testing – Ways to Make Testing More Fun!

As all of us know, a visual aid is more powerful than any other mode of learning. This has been proven many times that people will remember creative visual aid sharply than learning things traditionally.

Usually, we have seen people explaining presentations by chalking the lines, circles, and squares on boards or through PowerPoint point slides.

But have we ever thought to represent it in a more creative way? Have we ever thought to make it still more colorful?

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Mind Mapping in Software Testing

If not, please read the below article to present your ideas in a very 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 structure information, helping you to understand the requirements in a better way, will help you to analyze & cover the data comprehensively and moreover its fun!!

Why Is Mind Map Required?

Why do we need a Mind Map, when we have so many conventional methods? How this is different from concept maps.

  • Increases  creativity
  • Simple to implement the idea in a creative way
  • Very flexible and easy to maintain Mind Maps.
  • It provides more coverage.
  • Can position all the data in one place (you need not visit different portals every time).
  • It can be represented by the management without any hurdle and confusion.
  • We can mark different areas in a different way to make it more attractive.

Where Mind Maps Can Be Used For

The Mind Map is not limited to particular problems and ideas alone. It is open to creating maps for every idea that you have. You just need to have a good idea and intuitive knowledge about the subject.

  • Problem-solving
  • Structural representations
  • Team planning
  • Condensing material into a compact and effective format
  • To graph team activity.

Mind Map In Software Testing

Testing is a huge ocean of ideas and creativity. Every phase of testing has its own methods and terminologies. It is up to the individual as of where to apply Mind Map in Software Testing. It is always advisable to have a good understanding and groundwork of internal branches of the testing phase which you are planning to chalk out. We need to collect all those thoughts into one place.

Find below a few examples which could help you to frame your ideas.

Work Assignment on Software Project – Mind Map

This is about the total work assigned to you for one release. What data you need to collect to map your ideas. A sample and simple example,

  1. Start with the release name and the year (like June’12 Major Release)
  2. Collect all the requirements assigned to you. (Like: CRs,SR,ITRs)
  3. Collect requirement numbers.
  4. Collect the requirement names and program names under which this requirement falls.
  5. Collect charge codes provided to each requirement.
  6. Collect Developer, Development lead and Development manager names (It helps to catch the development team when we face issue)
  7. Similarly, collect Testing team details. This helps you not to hit internal websites every time if someone asks you to provide details.
  8. Collect analyst details. This is to get clarification on your requirements.
  9. Collect the iteration details (start date, end date, number) under which iteration the requirement comes.
  10.  Collect all the links and credentials from where you access these details.

Work Assignment on Software Project – Mind Map

Note: [Click for an enlarged view]

A Small analysis of this Mind Map,

  • Requirement square has a small pen and book like a symbol; it indicates that it has some notes move the cursor on requirements or those notes that you can see at the bottom.
  • Requirement numbers and flags. A Flag is for the 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 hyperlink symbol (green arrow mark) in ‘Links and Credentials’ square – This is connected between ‘Links and Credentials’ and Requirements. Click on ‘Links and Credentials’ and it will redirect you to ‘Requirements’ square.

Requirement Traceability Matrix Mind Map

Traceability concept is very important from the testing perspective. This maps Testing Requirements to Test cases 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 the Mind Map.

One of the simple example we have mapped using Mind Map tool is given below:

Note: [Click for an enlarged view]

Requirement Traceability Matrix Mind Map

This is how I have mapped my requirements and again this depends on the user and how he assigns the value to symbols.

Similarly, Mind Map can be used in any phase of testing. A few more scenarios are listed here, you can try these in your company.

  1. Test case creation from Use case/Requirements.
  2. General report management.
  3. Automation test script management.
  4. Team management.
  5. 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

  1. Example 1 – Test Planning using Mind Map
  2. Example 2 – Software Testing Interactive Mindmap
  3. Example 3 – Software testing types Mind Map

Free Mind Mapping Software

Many freeware Mind Mapping tools are available in the market. You can try any Mind Map tool which works for your ideas. A few free tools which I’m familiar with are listed below.

  1. Free Mind
  2. Edraw Mind Map
  3. Wise mapping
  4. Mind Meister

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 on how to use mind mapping in Software Testing? Please comment on your experience of using Mind Mapping tools and techniques.

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25 thoughts on “Mind Mapping in Software Testing – Ways to Make Testing More Fun!”

  1. very interesting concept and a must read for every software tester.

    I suppose we can use this technique in every phase of SDLC for requirement gathering, design, development, testing, team management etc.

  2. Used mindmapping technique and created maps instead of writing test cases and got approval from clients, during crunch time.

    Also making the resources use this technique gives little more interest in creating maps than usual test case design.

    There are lot of free tools available for mind mapping.

  3. Sudheer, You are correct.. many companies are already using this technique.This is very usefull and creative method. Creating TCs using mind mapping is useful thats conventional method.

    Try out other work also.

  4. Dear Nataraj,
    While MindMaps are very useful to share ideas, we need to step out of the lately “hype” behind these in SW testing arena and consider in which cases these are really useful, and in which we just strech these due to hype.
    Trully – MM are great for sharing ideas in graphical manner.
    On the other hand – these are not useful for larger sets of information, or in cases where we wish to maintain this information for the long run (MM are not well connected to DBs yet).
    Most of the things we are collecting in testing might be better presented in trees, which are better in handling larger quantities of information, and are integrated with DBs.
    These are also easier for maintaining traceability tables etc. – as the tabular nature of DBs is much more suitable for this purpose.
    As well as sharing by exporting/importing information.
    When we wish to present a small portion of this information in colorful & graphical manner – that’s where MM has the advantage.

    @halperinko – Kobi Halperin

  5. @kobi, thanks for your comments,
    1.I agree MMs are little tough to handle to when we have more data,but not impossible. In my 1st MM there small note pad @ bottom, we can store data there easily which helps you when you go directly to that branch.
    2. Your branches should always contain minimum data,else will end up in confusion.Add other data in Note section.
    3.Does licensed MM tool provide link to DB,Dont know.i have to learn this.
    4.It will be more effective to use MM’s for shorter rls’s

  6. We are using Free mind tool for preparing testcases.Plz let me know how to prepare tracebility matrix using mindmap.

    Can u plz elloborate your answer?

    Thanks in advance

    • that i will share the ebook testing software with everody. Return the product to the care oftheir identified father in pursuit.
      aamer iinam

  7. really nice and new concept… thanks for sharing enough details… would try to make next ppt via one of these tools…

    Its a great way of explaining some requirements and for small requirements can help in avoiding writing cases

  8. Announcing a revolutionary software testing tool. Donenodes.com the first software testing tool using the power of mindmaps donenodes.com


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