April Ritscher, Microsoft
How many of us have tested an application and certified that it met the requirements stated in the functional specification, only to find out that it does not meet the business need?
Many times as software test engineers we are brought on to the project after the requirements have been gathered. This gives us very little visibility into the early discussions on what the user needs to accomplish with an application solution.
Therefore we test and certify the application based on the functional documentation provided to us without really understanding how the business is intending to use the application in production.
As part of our work to improve the software testing process for our group (LCAIT), we have been looking into ways to move upstream in the process and ensure that we add business value by testing our applications based on user scenarios that reflect the usage of the application.
This required us to change our approach in writing test cases and change our focus from the traditional functional testing to user scenario focused testing. To achieve that objective we used visual representations of possible user actions and application responses that align with the user scenarios. Using visual representations enables us to easily identify gaps in the functional requirements and allows other disciplines to more easily review the test cases.
This paper will describe how we break out our functionality into individual test cases and use these as building blocks to test the end-to-end user scenarios. It will also describe how we extract information from the flowcharts to be used during manual and automated testing.