Artifacts > Test Artifact Set > Test-Ideas List
The Test-Ideas List provides a layer of abstraction between the conceptual Test Plan and the more detailed Test Case or the concrete Test Script. It is used to capture initial ideas for potential testsoften ill-formed or partial ideasso that the tests can be reasoned about.
Each Test-Ideas List should be identified by considering as many different perspectives as possible, including many of the following:
One you have an initial list of ideas, consider whether there any related ideas on the list that could be combined or consolidated. As a general heuristic, most lists should contain seven entries, plus or minus two. For more detail on the contents of a Test-Ideas List, see the guidelines listed under the More Information section of the header table.
There are no UML representations for these properties.
You should begin identifying lists of Test Ideas as soon as the Evaluation Mission for the current iteration is determined. Although you may want to record some of your Test Ideas earlier, be careful not to invest too much time before you have agreement on the Evaluation Mission. In most cases, this activity will start in the first iteration in the Elaboration phase, and will continue until the end of the project. Don't become complacent about the need to identify new Test Ideas; the potential for new defects and unexpected quality gaps to exist is present as long as the software is undergoing change.
The Test Analyst role is primarily responsible for this artifact. Those responsibilities include:
In certain domains and testing cultures, Test Ideas are either not recognized, or are considered informal artifacts. As such, both the contents and format of Test-Ideas List may require modification to meet the needs of each specific organization and project.
When they are recorded (either formally or informally), two main styles are commonly used:
Some consideration should also be given to ongoing measurement of the Test Ideas for progress, effectiveness, change management and so forth. Consider using specification-based test coverage, in which each Test Idea or Test-Ideas List traces back to at least one specification entry to be tested. For example, trace to the requirements specification elements to be tested which will typically reflect some subset of the total product requirements (see Concepts: Key Measures of Testing).
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