Test Strategy and Things You Hadn't Considered

Test strategy typically deals with what you plan to do. If you think of test problem space as a physical space, as surface area, then a test strategy helps define the map of what you plan to cover.

If you think about it as positive space/negative space, or figure/ground if you prefer, then I had always considered the things you plan to do representing positive space, and the things you plan not to do representing negative space.  But a recent post on Catherine Powell's always-good ABAKAS blog added a new dimension for me: things you hadn't considered. These are the things that don't make it to your map because you didn't think of them.

The takeaway for me was that by documenting what you plan to cover and what you don't, the things you didn't think of are really the negative space. As Powell says, this makes our assumptions (end by extensions, the things we missed) visible for validation. This adds value at all phases of a project, either helping avoid problems early on through helping understand strategy decisions during a post mortem.