Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness
When I last met with Rob Caron to walk him through Guidance Explorer, one of the concepts that peaked his interest was test-cases for content. He suggested I blog it, since it's not common practice and could benefit others. I agreed.
If you're an author or a reviewer, this technique may help you. You can create explicit test-cases for the content. Simply put, these are the "tests for success" for a given piece of content. Here's an example of a few test cases for a guideline:
Test Cases for Guidelines
What to Do
Additional Tests to Consider When Writing a Guideline
Benefits to Authors and ReviewersThe test-cases serve as checkpoints that help both authors and reviewers produce more effective guidance. While you probably implicitly ask many of these questions, making them explicit makes them a repeatable practice for yourself or others. I've found questions to be the best encapsulation of the test because they set the right frame of mind. If you're an author, you can start writing guidance by addressing the questions. If you're a reviewer, you can efficiently check for the most critical pieces of information. How much developer guidance exists that does not answer the why or when? Too much. As I sift through the guidance I've produced over the years, I can't believe how many times I've missed making the why or when explicit.
I'm a fan of the test-driven approach to guidance and here's my top reasons why:
Examples of Test Cases for GuidanceI've posted examples of our test-cases for guidance on Channel 9.
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