He uses Mind Mapping to generate test ideas and his computer generated diagrams show useful and concrete examples. These include defining equivalence class – the variables under test, the identification of explicit and implicit requirements when identifying classes based on the application logic; maps that identify usage scenarios; and maps to identify quality factors. “You will see that misunderstandings and ambiguities are resolved in real time as you build the mind map!” he says.
Sabourin sees several benefits for software testers when they use Mind Maps:
. An intuitive visual representation of the application under test
. Improved communication between the technical and non-technical stakeholders that leads to more realistic and complete test design
. Encouragement of lateral thinking
. Reusable design templates
. Visual notes quickly and easily made during the testing process
I was able to give him one tip that applies to VisiMap and other software when he cautioned that maps can easily get too big. It’s not necessary to restructure or redraw unless you want to. You can cut to a linked map in VisiMap and some of the more robust mapping programs. You can also reduce the branches on all but the one under use or discussion. I’ve frequently found this helpful with seven or eight levels on the one branch open with the others reduced to the primary branch level. That way the big picture still remains on the page.
Sabourin gives his son credit for learning Mind Mapping and bringing it to his attention by showing him his map of the E. B. White’s children’s book, Charlotte’s Web. We can all learn from our kids. It was my son Michael, a fellow software tester, who showed me this article. I don’t know much about software testing personally, but I hope to learn more from Sabourin’s popular book, I am a Bug! It’s designed to teach software testing to children.