Additional Suggestions to Get Your Agile Testing Off On The Right Foot, Part 2

This is in addition to the previous posting on “6 Quick Suggestions to Get Your Agile Testing Off On The Right Foot”. Getting good requirements will require you to have to ask questions. You will need to ask questions that will garner involvement from the team members because if you don’t get them involved you will not receive questions that will assist you in testing. Questioning of the business/owners/users will engage people and provoke interaction within the entire team. When asking your questions you must “make no assumptions” use context-free questioning like

“What problems are you trying to solve with this project?”
“What problems might this solution create?”
“How does this work?”
“How might it be different?” if we proceeded with this project

You will be presently surprised on the answers you receive and of the ones you were not anticipating.

These are broad perspective questions which will illicit necessary information and can be used for any project effort. The key is to probe the business/owners/users, you will be surprised how much information you will gather. Then you can ask pointedly narrow questions. Ask how, when, how, and specifically what to the users as in context of the new system. Example, “how does an order get entered into the system?” And the last question technique I use is to ask the business/owners/users “what questions do you want me to ask you” At first you think this will make you look like you are not familiar with the system BUT what will happen is the users of the system will express what is important to them. Their responses will target important issues and expectations for the project and add to your requirements gathering efforts. Most importantly is don’t worry about “right” or “wrong” answers. These context free questions are more about using them to drive deeper into the details that can be considered requirements gathering.

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