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  1. #1
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    Embarassingly Stupid Question - and a first posting to boot!

    I've been a developer for 10 years and am dipping my toes into the new waters of formalised testing.

    I have now played with demos of WinRunner and TestDirector, which look very promising. However, I have come to a juddering halt with determining what constitutes a "requirement" and what constitutes a "test plan".

    Conceptually, I get it, but when faced with a new project, find myself confusing the two. Is there some "easy-to-do" equivalent of normalisation of data to differentiate?

    Could someone please point me in the direction of some case studies which will help me clarify the difference?


    Thanks for any help.

    ------------------

  2. #2
    Moderator Joe Strazzere's Avatar
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    Re: Embarassingly Stupid Question - and a first posting to boot!

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ManicallyDepressed:
    I've been a developer for 10 years and am dipping my toes into the new waters of formalised testing.

    I have now played with demos of WinRunner and TestDirector, which look very promising. However, I have come to a juddering halt with determining what constitutes a "requirement" and what constitutes a "test plan".

    Conceptually, I get it, but when faced with a new project, find myself confusing the two. Is there some "easy-to-do" equivalent of normalisation of data to differentiate?

    Could someone please point me in the direction of some case studies which will help me clarify the difference?


    Thanks for any help.

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I don't know of any case studies, nor normalization techniques to help you here, but I'm not sure you need them.

    If you were a developer for 10 years, you must have encountered requirements - those were the statements that described what the app you were building must do. You probably got those requirements from a product manager or such. You probably reviewed them to make sure you understood before you began writing specs or coding.

    And you must have encountered test plans - those were the documents produced by the QAers describing how they planned to test the app you built. Maybe you even got to review some of them and provide feedback to the QAer.

    For a QAer, requirements are part of the INPUT and test plans are part of the OUTPUT.

    P.S. You may get more help for these general questions in the General Discussion forum, rather than here in this TestDirector forum.

    ------------------
    - Joe (strazzerj@aol.com)

    [This message has been edited by jstrazzere (edited 08-21-2001).]
    Joe Strazzere
    Visit my website: AllThingsQuality.com to learn more about quality, testing, and QA!

  3. #3
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    Re: Embarassingly Stupid Question - and a first posting to boot!

    Short on time, so I'll give you the short versions... I'm sure someone can expound upon these:

    Requirements: What is the thing going to do and how is it supposed to behave.

    Test Plan: This is more of a grey area. Test plans can range from a page with a bullet list of a high-level view of what's to be tested, or it can be a long, detailed document covering roles and responsibilities, timelines, exit criteria, and plenty else on top of a what's-to-be-tested deal.

    ------------------
    Jordan Gottlieb
    Qualitech Solutions, Inc.
    jgottlieb@qualitechsolutions.com
    Jordan Gottlieb
    Senior Consultant, Orasi Software
    Twitter: @JG_QA

  4. #4
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    Re: Embarassingly Stupid Question - and a first posting to boot!

    Thank you for your replies. They do make sense.

    Perhaps I ought to explain that it's the examples in TestDirector that I am having real difficulty with.

    There is an example Test Plan Tree:
    --->User Interface
    -----> Fax Order Window
    --------> Cancel

    The example states that the "Cancel" test plan satisfies three requirements, i.e.
    --->"With Cancel button"
    --->"With click of X"
    --->"With press of Esc"

    I don't understand why the test for "Cancel" is considered to satisfy the latter two requirements. Surely these two reqs should have a test plan of their own, i.e. a test for "Click X" and a test for "Press Esc".

    To my small and confused mind, the three requirements ARE the test plan. And this is why I would have put these entries in the Test Plan section rather than in the Requirements section. Hence the reason for my confusion with the terminology.


    Do you see what I mean, or have I simply convinced you that I'm mad?

    The reason why I originally put this in this forum is that it relates to a specific example supplied in the TestDirector manuals. Or should I, as suggested, post this in the General Discussion area?

    ------------------


    [This message has been edited by ManicallyDepressed (edited 08-22-2001).]

    [This message has been edited by ManicallyDepressed (edited 08-22-2001).]

  5. #5
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    Re: Embarassingly Stupid Question - and a first posting to boot!

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ManicallyDepressed:

    Perhaps I ought to explain that it's the examples in TestDirector that I am having real difficulty with.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Hey Manic, I suggest that you do not take their examples too literally, the examples in TestDirector can be confusing.

    I suggest that you think of the requirements as "what to test" and of course the test case as "how to test". Sure, you could bypass creating a "test requirement hierarchy" and jump right into building test cases if you have waited until the business requirements are all spelled out and the design and coding is well underway. But then why would you wait? How about thinking of these test requirments as an attribute of the business requirements? Thus you ensure a sense of testability.

    I am going to include a brief description of one way to use the test requirement heirarchy and test plan tree to help organize the testing process:

    Start by building a hierarchy of test requirements that simply categorize the types of tests you would like to perform. For example, I may have a application that has administrative functions such as adding user profiles, updating user profiles, and deleting user profiles. I could create a requirement heirarchy that begins with "Administration", then has a child requirement named "Maintain Users" which in turn has several child requirements including "Add Users". "Add Users" could have several child requirements that I want to link to tests so I would use a naming convention that indicates I am at the lowest level of a testing requirement (I like to use the term "check" such as "check adding valid user", "check adding invalid user", and "check cancel adding user". There are many steps to be executed, fields to be entered and buttons clicked to successfully add a valid user and I would like to reference those values in my test requirement by attaching a spreadsheet with a column for each field. Each row could identify the sequence of values to use on a given cycle through the test. I like to creat sections on my spreadsheets, for valid and invlaid values that I want to test with. Going back to my example, I could have columns for name, address, and user authority (such as approver or updater). Thus for the requirement "check adding invalid user", I could have all kinds of values that force errors, but it is one test requirement referencing a table of possible error causes.

    The test plan tree is also a heirarchy that must be built and indeed you could build it to look quite similar to the test requirement heirarchy. However, it may be better to structure it with fewer levels. Looking to the example I gave above, you could create a test subject called "maintain users" and have test cases that specify the steps for adding, updating, deleting users to the application under test.

    Hope this helps!

    ------------------

  6. #6
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    Re: Embarassingly Stupid Question - and a first posting to boot!

    Hello Irbutler,

    Thanks for the nicely illustrated reply.
    Yes, it has cleared the fog between my two pet neurons now.


    Yours,

    Manically D.

    ------------------
    Life - Nature's way of keeping meat fresh.

    [This message has been edited by ManicallyDepressed (edited 08-28-2001).]

 

 

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