Make sure everyone understands what's actually needed

When you're trying to streamline your test documentation efforts, one aspect you should consider tackling early on is to get everyone involved into a room and to workflow what's actually needed by the various teams involved to be successful. This might include:

  • What documents do we need to create?

  • What sections do those documents really need?

  • How detailed do those sections really need to be?

  • What information do I need, to be able to write that section, and where do I get that information?

  • What information do others need from me to be successful in their documentation efforts?

Once you've worked through that process once, make sure you check back periodically (each iteration, quarterly, annually, etc) to make sure there's still value in what's being created and that everyone is still clear about what's needed from them.

This tip was part of a brainstorm developed at the September 2011 Indianapolis Workshop on Software Testing on the topic of "Documenting for Testing." The attendees of that workshop (and participants in the brainstorm) included: Charlie Audritsh, Scott Barber, Rick Grey, Michael Kelly, Natalie Mego, Charles Penn, Margie Weaver, and Tina Zaza.