Using Mind Maps to Create Comprehensive Test Plans in Your ALM


Mind maps work well for planning the test strategy and monitoring project status. Mind-mapping software makes all this easy, and the visual presentation keeps everyone in the loop. Ritinder Kaur shows how mind maps can communicate ideas clearly and help you execute them exactly to create a comprehensive test plan.

QA and testing is a key function that supports every aspect of application lifecycle management (ALM). While quality is everyone’s job, most organizations have an experienced quality assurance and testing subject matter expert to help the team successfully implement these essential practices. For example, your build and release engineers may be experienced in configuration management, but they still rely on your expertise to implement QA and testing best practices.

As a QA team lead, it is your role to plan your test strategy and explain the flow of the application lifecycle to your team. You may have a certain visual image in mind about your test plan, and if so, you want to convey it clearly so that it is executed with clarity and precision. You should avoid technical jargon and long-winded explanations.

Mind maps are an effective way to visually communicate and teach others QA and testing practices. Yes, it is the same concept as when we used to draw connected bubbles with crayons in kindergarten. And today, this simple concept is being used in software development, business presentations, and even teaching.

Mind maps are creative business tools that let you use the power of visuals to present your ideas and concepts. This can help your team engage more effectively in brainstorming and test strategy analysis and planning.

As the QA team lead, the onus is on you to plan your test strategy well, keeping in mind all the attributes of each use case. This means you have to focus not only on the details at the granular level, but also on the overall big picture. Whether you are performing manual testing or automated testing, your main challenge is comprehensive test coverage.

If you are new to the concept of using mind maps for software QA, you will be surprised at the ease with which you can create them using specific software. All you need is knowledge about the product and clarity of thought with regard to the flow of application development.

User Comments

Simon Rigler's picture

It's always good to see someone valuing mind maps in testing. I love them, and want to use them more than I have actually managed to so far, and not just for test strategy.

I'm not so sure about all the Test Lead references though? I'm guessing we are not talking about agile development, or SCRUM at least, in this scenario? The QA test lead position isn't so relevant (or even a thing) in SCRUM - a team might have a designated tester, but it's more of a team effort., including the strategy. Mind Maps are possibly even more valuable in this environment for giving the team a canvass on which to express their ideas and develop them further. I am traditionally a Test Manager / Test Lead, and my contribution in this regard has been to suggest mind maps to the scrum teams as a way of developing their test strategy under their agile process.


March 1, 2016 - 5:34pm
Swetalina Sahoo's picture

Good Article....

Can you also pls detail the best practices and different test initiatives that can be taken to make the testing process more robust.



July 20, 2016 - 2:45am

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