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Sunday, August 22, 2010

10 Tips to Help You Achieve Your Software Testing Documentation Goal

It’s not that we don’t know how to do the documentation right. We just don’t think it’s important.
Everyone must have standard templates for all the kinds of documentation starting from Test strategy, test Plan, Test cases, and Test data to Bug report. These are just to follow some standards (CMMI, ISO etc.) but, when it comes to actual implementation how many of these documents are really used by us? We just need to synchronize our quality process with documentation standards and other process in an organization.

The simplest thing to follow all kind of documentation is to involve a person in project from kick off phase who understands the project dynamics, domain, objective, and technology. And who else better than a QA person for this (of course there are technical writers present to do this – but considering a general scenario of small companies where technical writers are not present).
To achieve this goal of testing and documentation I feel we need to focus on some points.
Here are the top 10 tips to help you achieve your software testing documentation goal:
1. QA should involve at the very first phase of project so that QA and Documentation work hand in hand.
2. Process defined by QA should follow by technical people, this helps remove most of the defects at very initial stage.
3. Only creating and maintaining software testing templates is not enough, force people to use them.
4. Don’t only create and leave document, Update as and when required.
5. Change requirement is important phase of project don’t forget to add them in the list.
6. Use version controlling for everything. This will help you manage and track your documents easily.
7. Make defect remediation process easier by documenting all defects. Make sure to include clear description of defect, reproduce steps, affected area and details about author while documenting any defect.
8. Try to document what is required for you to understand your work and what you will need to produce to your stakeholders whenever required.
9. Use standard template for documentation. Like any excel sheet template or doc file template and stick to it for all your document needs.
10. Share all project related documents at single location, accessible to every team member for reference as well to update whenever required.
I am not saying that by applying above steps you will get sudden results. I know this change won’t happen in a day or two, but at least we can start so that these changes start happening slowly.
After all “the documentation needs documentation”.  Isn’t it?
Share your tips. How you maintain software testing documents related to your project?

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