Testing in Absence of Input Documentation

Recently I worked on a project, where lack of documentation necessary to plan the testing activity was an issue. Although this is not a very common scenario, the possibility can’t be ruled out completely.

So how should the test team proceed when there ain’t any input documentation such as design specifications, feature specification et al? It sounds like a tricky situation, isn’t it? Well, it is a somewhat tricky situation to deal with, but then there are tools/methods which would come to your rescue. Let’s see which are these tools and how to make best use of them…

  • Using product simulator: Although simulators are miniature versions of the fully functional product, they certainly give us a look and feel of the end product. By using the simulator, we can define functional workflows and get some feel about the product’s UI. These things then can be used to write test plans and test cases. However one thing is very important to note here, it’s a simulator we are referring to and there may be differences in its workflows and how the end product will behave. This is an important consideration for error handling scenarios.
  • Prior experience helps! : In 99.9% cases, it is very likely that your new assignment is in-line with your past experience. So, it will surely come handy for doing test development for the new, tricky assignment. You can take this *judgmental* based approach for defining test strategy, high level use cases and even test cases for every feature of the product.
  • Explore, ask & discuss: It is another best approach to this problem. Surf through the product and discuss your specific queries with product managers and product architects. This surely helps in breaking the ice and helping in developing good test plans.
  • Mix-of-all aka Hybrid approach: Mix all these above mentioned approaches to create a customized approach to best suite your needs and define your own test strategy.

These are my thoughts and solutions I applied to this particular problem. You may have dealt with it in some other way. So do share your thoughts.

Happy Testing!



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