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How much test documentation do we need?

Ahh, the dreaded test documentation question…

Ask yourselves these questions:
1. Will anyone else really read this?
2. Does anyone care about what I’m writing (see also #1)
3. What level of detail do I need to go into?
4. Who is my audience?

There are many other questions you may ask yourself. I find I ask myself these 4 questions each time before I document something.

If the answer to #1 or #2 is ‘No’, question why you do it, and what is the purpose. After all, the more time you are spending documenting about what you are, or have been doing testing, the less time you are actually testing!

The answers to #3 and #4 will often vary on what the documentation is. Is it a test plan, test idea, test charter, test session, requirements test, regression test, bug report, etc? Try and think about who may/will read this and write them up accordingly.

Asking yourself these questions before you start typing away, it will help save you some time, clarify what you are trying to say, and better target your audience.

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