How to Test an Application with Missing or Incomplete Documentation?
Technically, every application comes with requirements. It’s hard to imagine an application that is nothing more than a bunch of code. However, in reality there are software applications that don’t have any documented requirements. Unfortunately, there are cases where the documentation is incomplete, incorrect, or obsolete.
With quick and short development cycles, the trend of least or no documentation is increasing briskly in the industry today. However, there is no alternative to a properly documented requirement.
There could be many reasons for an application without requirements. Some of them are mentioned below.
- Reopening a project that was on hold
- Working on a project without any documentation process
- An application with incomplete documentation
- A gap between the understanding of existing functionality with the latest one, in case of regular releases
These are some of the cases of obstructions faced by testers. However, there are a few best practices to come out of such situations successfully.
You can start with whatever information you have. A simple help file, an email, or even a backlog of your project could serve the purpose. You can even get documented trail by asking around someone.
However, in case this doesn’t work, you can consider your experience as a user. For example, while testing a transfer operation for a bank account, you can count your own experience to decide what all you need to transfer the funds successfully.
In order to test any future version of a product, you can consider the current version as a reference. This applies when the situation is not desirable to fit your needs. However, you need to consider the following aspects.
- Never assume anything, even if a certain action takes you to a different screen
- If a numeric field takes alphanumeric characters, the functionality can’t be considered as expected
Organize meetings with the project team members or attend their meetings. You can also participate in the different stages of testing or ask the development team to share the results. Moreover, a knowledge transfer session could prove to be an added advantage.