Do teams plan testing without any requirements? Is it even possible?
Well, this may be a pretty rare situation, but such a situation may arise where QA teams are expected to review code changes without being given a functional specification document.
Without a testing documents, it's very difficult to follow QA and testing standards and best practices.
Here is a real-time scenario for such a situation:
- A platform upgrade is required, with minimum or no changes to the functionality. In such a case, the requirement documentation is usually ignored because a system already exists for reference.
Below are some of the challenges that you may face while testing a software without requirements:
- Difficulty in preparing test cases.
- Difficulty in training members.
- Unable to track testing progress for a big team.
However, these challenges should not prevent testing from taking place.
During the requirement gathering phase the primary focus should be on identifying 'what needs to be tested’. Here’s what can be done before starting your test:
- Know Your Team: It’s a good practice to be aware of the developers, business analysts, product owners, project managers, graphic designers, test module leads, and other peers involved in the process. This is even more important when we are missing documentation. This will help you reach out to the right person when required.
- Explore Other Artifacts: During the software development phase, the functional or software requirements specifications is one of the several documents prepared. Check if the wireframes or mockups are available as the availability of design documents is equally helpful. Other useful resources can be business requirements, use cases, process flows, and technical documents.
Making a list of all the critical components help in planning resources and efforts so that the engineers have a fair idea.
Some techniques that the QA engineers can use in case they do not have any software requirements specification are as under:
- Checklist For all the Functionalities: A checklist of identified components can work as the testing scope document. This can be utilized for work allocation and tracking within the team.
- Use Experience-based Testers: Experience-based testers are the most important factor in this process. What matters the most is their domain experience. Their knowledge will assist you in mentoring other team members and help in identifying gaps in the built system.
- Perform Exploratory Testing: This type of testing is most suitable when there are no requirement documents. More emphasis is given to identify the conditions in which the system may not work as expected.
Although having no documents may produce a challenge, it may also occasionally work as an advantage.