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 colourful? If not, please read the below article to present your ideas in a very creative way.
What You Will Learn:
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, colours, 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 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.
- Provides more coverage.
- Can position all the data at one place (you need not visit different portals every time).
- 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
Mindmap 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 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 testing phase which you are planning to chalk out. We need to collect all those thoughts into one place.
Find 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 the year (like June’12 Major Release)
- Collect all the requirements assigned to you.(Like: CRs,SR,ITRs)
- Collect requirement numbers.
- Collect the requirement names and program name under which this requirement falls.
- Collect charge codes provided to each requirement.
- Collect Developer, Development lead and Development manager names (It helps to catch the development team when we face issue)
- Similarly, collect Testing team details. This helps you not to 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.
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 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]
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. Few more scenarios are 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 Mindmap
- 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. Few free tools which I’m familiar with are listed below.
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 your experience about using mind mapping tools and techniques.