Mind Mapping in Software Testing – Ways to Make Testing More Fun!

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 more 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 about representing it in a more creative way? Have we ever thought to make it still more colorful?

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Mind Mapping (1)

If not, please read the article below to present your ideas in a very creative way.

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, colors, mind shapes, words, lines, and images.

This helps you to structure information, thereby helping you to understand the requirements in a better way, to analyze & cover the data comprehensively and moreover its fun!!

Why is Mind Map Required?

Why do we need a Mind Map, when we have so many conventional methods? How is this different from concept maps?

  • Increases creativity
  • Simple to implement the idea in a creative way.
  • Very flexible and easy to maintain Mind Maps.
  • It provides more coverage.
  • Can position all the data in one place (you don’t need to visit different portals all the time).
  • It can be represented by the management without any hurdle or confusion.
  • We can mark different areas in a different way to make them more attractive.

Where Can Mind Maps Be Used

The Mind Map 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 a 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 the internal branches of the testing phase which you are planning to chalk out. We need to collect all those thoughts in one place.

Find below a few examples that could help you frame your ideas.

Work Assignment on Software Project – Mind Map

This is regarding the total amount of work assigned to you for one release. What data do you need to collect to map your ideas?

A sample and simple example,

  1. Start with the release name and the year (like June’12 Major Release).
  2. Collect all the requirements assigned to you. (Like: CRs,SR,ITRs).
  3. Collect the requirement numbers.
  4. Collect the requirement names and program names under which this requirement falls.
  5. Collect the charge codes provided for each requirement.
  6. Collect Developer, Development lead, and Development manager names (It helps to catch the development team when we face issues).
  7. Similarly, collect Testing team details. This helps you not to hit internal websites every time if someone asks you to provide details.
  8. Collect analyst details. This is to get clarification on your requirements.
  9. Collect the iteration details (start date, end date, number) under which the iteration of the requirement comes.
  10.  Collect all the links and credentials from where you can access these details.

Work Assignment on Software Project – Mind Map

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 that move the cursor on requirements or those notes that you can see at the bottom.
  • Requirement numbers and flags. A Flag is for the 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’. This means that the 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 the Local hyperlink symbol (green arrow mark) in the ‘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

The traceability concept is very important from a testing perspective. This maps the Testing Requirements for Test cases by preparing a 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, tasks, teams, milestones can be achieved from the Mind Map.

A simple example of what we have mapped using the Mind Map tool is given below:

Requirement Traceability Matrix Mind Map

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 Maps can be used in any phase of testing. A few more scenarios are listed here, and you can try these in your company.

  1. Test case creation from Use case/Requirements.
  2. General report management.
  3. Automation test script management.
  4. Team management.
  5. 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 the links below for more testing of mind maps

  1. Example 1 – Test Planning using Mind Map
  2. Example 2 – Software Testing Interactive Mindmap
  3. 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 that works for your ideas. A few free tools which I’m familiar with are listed below.

  1. Free Mind
  2. Edraw Mind Map
  3. Wise mapping
  4. Mind Meister

Also read =>> How to use Mind Maps using EdrawMind

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 on your experience of using Mind Mapping tools and techniques.

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