Documentation Testing

Documentation Testing - Many people have experienced frustration after they buy something that needs assembly, only to find that the instructions are vague or wrong.

Given that common experience, the project team needs to be sensitive to making sure that the documentation provided is understandable and complete.

In some cases, the documentation of the solution is done by the project team, and in some instances it is done by the client organization.

However, all of the available documentation can be "tested" regardless of where it was produced.

The purpose of Documentation Testing is to thoroughly review all written material that will be a part of the final solution. In other words, you want to review the User’s Manual, the Application Maintenance Manual, the Disaster Recovery Manual, etc.

However, you do not need to review project documents like the Business Requirements Report or Status Reports. The testing can be done a couple different ways.

  • Ask people who are unfamiliar with the application to follow all documented procedures. These should be written in a way that provides step-by-step guidance on how to accomplish the given task. If the testers cannot successfully complete the procedures, the procedures need to be improved.
  • Get people who have strong English, punctuation, and grammar skills to review all the material for professionalism and readability. It would be great to utilize experienced proofreaders. Otherwise, use employees with strong written communication skills.
  • Try out all alternative ways that are documented to accomplish a task. In many cases, the primary way works, but the alternatives do not.
  • If you are describing policies or standards, make sure that the appropriate authorities in your organization review and approve your wording. You do not want to misquote or misapply an important company policy.
  • Evaluate any manual forms, checklists, and templates to ensure they are accurate and that the appropriate information is being collected.

If you have the right people identified for this test, and you go over all the manual documentation thoroughly, you will reduce or eliminate a source of frustration and resistance after the application is implemented.

Domain Modeling


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