(Almost) Total Recall


Alas, this blog post is not about Arnold Schwarzenegger's classic film. And it's certainly not about Colin Farrell's ill advised remake. Leave my childhood favourites alone now please. It's about how small devices to aid your memory can change your testing outlook. You won't be a secret agent (if Quaid/Hauser ever was) but happily you won't have to extract tracking devices from your nose so you don't need to wear a wet towel on your head (if Quaid/Hauser ever did). Anyway, time to get to the chopper (I know)...

When you hear the crunch, you're there...

Test strategies, plans and policies are such a loaded terms nowadays.
Some testers pine for the days of the weighty documented approach, some have little strategy and rely on their domain knowledge alone. For me, I prefer a third (or more) way, enhancing my toolbox for the context I find myself in.

Open your mind...

Mnemonics might be an approach to help with consistent, rigorous thinking about what will be tested, without over specifying how this might be done, and documenting in a time-punitive fashion. They may allow us to build maps of our testing interactively in a way that may appeal to stakeholders more than (for example) tabular information...
I present the below as a very quick guide for one to two hour introductory sessions for clients, who had a problem with weighty or distinctly wafer-thin thinking around testing.

See you at the party Richter...

Maps can be found here
First, some critical thought about whether mnemonics are such a good thing (or not) in a testing context:

Some examples across certain disciplines. To introduce the flexibility of the approach:


Get the group to create an example using their own context. Plus a few potential weaknesses that I have discovered in the approach when applied to the world at large...


Finally, get the group to think about create their own mnemonic in their context. I have added a starter few aspects that teams might want to take into account when building a mnemonic:


Do you think this is the real Quaid? It is...

Then it's over to you guys. The real joy for me is crafting your own, but as far as training wheels go, there is loads of material out there. Start here and expand to fill the space:
http://www.qualityperspectives.ca/resources_mnemonics.html 

Comments

  1. I've never personally found Mnemonics helpful. I prefer hand crafted (check)lists these days. Same idea, less obsessions over words starting with specific letters to make up a word :)

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    Replies
    1. My brain enjoys toying with words and sorting/arranging things, so mnemonics really appeal. :-)

      Plus they are a good starting point for teams, after that hand crafted mnemonics (or checklists) tend to be the way forward...

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