Do you do Testing Heat Analysis?

I’m sure that you do it in some form or other with may be a different name. And if you don’t do it, I think you should.

The idea is not wholely mine but this particular adaption is mine which I have been using for many years. The model looks good to be shared with other testers to use. it has some inspiration from Google’s ACC (Attributes Components Capability) model, and I have explained earlier too but to answer a specific question only.

Okay, this is what you should do:

  1. Divide your testing project in parts. The best count is 9 to help you draw the result in 3 x 3 shape. On what basis you can divide: if there are modules, or components, or facets, or attributes, or keywords or whatever works to help make decisions. The below example I have shows 9 core components in the Platform that we test.
  2. Decide on a color coding to show the “state of testing”. Testers also use happy, sad or angry faces to reflect on the fact how good is testing for a particular component, but colors help look it like a heat analysis. As if you expose this 3 x 3 cube to heat, how different parts will look after some exposure. The common color scheme is what you already know: Red for alarming situations, Yellow for cautions and Green for all good.
  3. You are good to go and do the analysis. You’ll need some definition on why you are marking a box as Red vs. marking it Green. Make sure you have both data and feelings to support it.

This is how it might look which uses an Orange color too:

SoftwareTestingHeatAnalysis

So how this helps. In many ways:

  • As appeared in my original article about three years ago, it helps you where to place the new tester. Obviously you are concerned on the Red areas which you want to make green.
  • To make release decisions. How important are Red boxes for the current release? Remember, you’ll never get all Greens, so you have to make that decision on what is your acceptance criteria.
  • As a measure of progress for example, we share this heat analysis to reflect on functional code coverage for the components. I know those numbers are not the only thing to look for, but you still need some metrics to guide you if you are on track.

Have you tried this or similar models before? What did you find out?

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