For testing of a reasonably large piece of new development work, I like to follow a process something like this:
- Perform exploratory testing for a relatively short time (say an hour or two) making notes on areas I know to be important/risky or which seem that way or which look … erm … unpolished
- Literally don’t even think about the app/required testing for a time (probably rest of that day)
The next day, go back to the same areas and deepen the initial/previous analysis by reading documentation (if any exists), talking with developers/business people or just more exploratory testing/app usage
- Begin to sketch out/improve test scenarios/cases thinking about risks and test methodologies
- Probably repeat from step 2 down until I feel I’ve achieved a good level of test readiness and it seems worthwhile to have my test cases reviewed by someone with a fresh set of eyes
- Depending on the test case review, either proceed with creating/improving lower level test cases or revise the test scenarios. In any event, I’ll using a similar flow to the above
I tend to repeat the above from time to time when testing is quiet just in case we missed anything. I also include information on bugs found when repeating the analysis assuming some exist.
In terms of having to follow processes, in my experience that seems to depend on the company size. Typically there seems to be positive correlation between the company size and number of processes, the biggest of which is processes to follow for requesting deployments, for regression testing and for raising bugs. In terms of the creative side of testing (risk analyses and test case creation), I’ve not experienced much process in large companies, except perhaps for test case reviews, which are something I like to do regardless of the company size.
In terms of models, nothing I can think of, though test heuristics (if these are models) are something I am increasingly aware of and think for testing new work I will use them going forward.
If someone asks “how should we be testing this?” I would reply “there are probably no absolute right answers. What do you think yourself? Would it help if we look at/think about it together?”