Recently, I started on a new project. It’s interesting. And I’m very excited about the Foosball table on-site (Note: This is possibly a massive understatement.) Anywho, I floated the idea of mind-maps past my team, they liked it – so now we’re using Mindmeister. You see, I’m pretty excited. I wanted to use mind-maps in my last project, but since the rest of my team couldn’t gain access to the mind-mapping tool (I was working remotely), we thought we’d skip the idea.

It’s working out well so far, we’ve all got access to it and are currently brainstorming how exactly we’re going to test the sexy piece of software we have in front of us. I particularly like the part where you start out an idea, maybe expand it into a few branches, then just leave it for a bit as you let your brain process the information…. you then log back into Mindmeister a few hours later, lo and behold, someone in your team has really helped developed your testing ideas. You, too, have also helped developed your team’s ideas.

Another reason why I’m becoming quite a fan of mind-maps, is the fact there’s so many ways you can organise your test case ideas. I, myself, find it interesting to watch ‘live’ my other team members work on the mind map and see how they organise their test case ideas, whether it be by part of the software or splitting it into different types of non-functional testing (and which of these would be suitable for the software).

Other than the obvious benefit of a mind-map helping you come up with ideas for test cases, it does have another handy benefit. It helps you understand the system and develop your thought processes visually as you explore what exactly the system entails. I’d almost liken mind-maps as a ‘thinking out loud’ process, where you answer your own questions by just delving deeper into the mind-map and generate more test case ideas.