Scenario-Based Campaigns for Research Projects

A scenario-based campaign is a well defined beta-testing campaign focused on all or part of the software guided by a tutorial leading to a result in a way that beta-testers are able to complete feedback questionnaires.

Specifics of Research Projects

Commercial vendors are experienced and professionally organized, they fully control their production porcess and coding style. They usually launch testing campaigns with fully functional software products. 

The situation of research projects is different. Research projects are time-bound, they must deliver results at a date contractually defined before the beginning of any development. Development is split into different modules and carried out by several partners. Because of the scientific challenges that characterise research projects, the development trajectories of the different components may differ significantly. The moment in the project timeline when those components are supposed to meet and be integrated into a functional application is often delayed toward the very end of the project duration. 

As a consequence, project partners usually do not have the full software they are developing avaiulable for beta testing. This is where scenario-based testing is useful.

Scenario-Based Campaigns

Sometimes broadscale beta-testing of an application is not possible because, for instance, it is not yet fully integrated and components are missing. It may be possible to test part of the application. 

Scenario-based campaigns focus on parts of an application. Instead of just inviting beta-testers to download the software from any repository as one would de when forking a software, scenario-based campaign provide them with a packaged experience. 

In a scenario-based campaign, beta-testers are invited to follow and execute a tutorial and report on the experience. Ideally the tutorial takes the beta-tester all the way to a "Hello world" result.

Scenario-based means: A tutorial leads beta-testers step-by-step to a “Hello World!” result.

Scenario-based campaign have several advantages for research project: 

  • Focused: they can be planned and executed before the whole software is available
  • Simple: scenarios are an efficient way to explain new generation software 
  • Convenient: they are easier for beta-testers to participate in 
  • Timely: they can be completed within the scope of the project duration

More on Scenario-Based testing

Check out the following links for other perspectives on scenario-based testing.

(Illustration source