Agile Documentation


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Seb Rose's picture
Seb Rose

To a large extent I agree with Keith (I also worked at Rational on the DOORS product), but... there is a big difference between executable documentation (such as FitNesse or Cucumber tests) and static documentation.

With the former, when the product deviates from the documentation (i.e. tests) the deviation is reported immediately through a failed test. The latter requires manual updating.

Some tools, such as DOORS, live somewhere in between. They have some ability to link from specification through to test results, using integrations with other tools. It feels (subjectively) like this is not as good as fully executable specifications - I'm not aware of any CI server with a DOORS plugin, for example - but a similar effect might be achieved.

June 23, 2011 - 5:54am

About the author

Lisa Crispin's picture Lisa Crispin

Lisa Crispin is the co-author, with Janet Gregory, of Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams (Addison-Wesley, 2009), co-author with Tip House of Extreme Testing (Addison-Wesley, 2002) and a contributor to Beautiful Testing (O’Reilly, 2009) and Experiences of Test Automation by Dorothy Graham and Mark Fewster (Addison-Wesley, 2011). She has worked as a tester on agile teamssince 2000, and enjoys sharing her experiences via writing, presenting, teaching and participating in agile testing communities around the world. Lisa was named one of the 13 Women of Influence in testing by Software Test & Performance magazine in 2009. For more about Lisa’s work, visit

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