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Using Business Stories to Test Requirements and Systems
Presented by Paul Gerard
Date: Thursday 23rd February 2012
Time: 6.30pm start, refreshments will be served from 6.00pm
Room SW101 School of Computing, Cornwallis South, University of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7NF
The use of stories to communicate dates back 30,000 years to the time when cave paintings recorded daily experience of people living as hunter-gatherers. If a software team uses a whiteboard to capture and talk about user stories to scope the next phase of development, they are drawing on an instinctive need to use examples, to criticise, discuss and refine them to arrive at a shared understanding. Stories worked for cavemen, they work for agile teams, and they’ll work for you too because they are universal.
Stories derived from written requirements can be used to walk-through business scenarios and when users see the proposed system ‘in action', requirements anomalies stand out and trigger informed discussions of situations, variations and outcomes. A disciplined approach to story-writing and requirements testing can improve requirements and the target solution dramatically. ‘Business Stories’ can be shared as examples for developers to see what was intended to help their understanding, and of course, they also provide the basis for later acceptance tests.
Up-front requirements testing doesn't require extra effort - much of this analysis work would be done during acceptance test preparation anyway. This approach provides a step-up with business impact analysis, regression testing, and even test automation.
Paul Gerard is a consultant, teacher, author, webmaster, programmer, tester, conference speaker, rowing coach and a publisher. He has conducted consulting assignments in all aspects of software testing and quality assurance, specialising in test assurance. He has presented keynote talks and tutorials at testing conferences across Europe, the USA, Australia, South Africa and occasionally won awards for them. In 2010 he won the Eurostar European Testing Excellence Award. He is Principal of Gerrard Consulting Limited and is the host of the UK Test Management Forum.