Free Agile Project Management Templates in Excel from agile test strategy template , image source: www.smartsheet.com
agile test strategy template
It may seem like a simple step. Simply open a new document and start typing, right? But it’s rare for this to work for me. I love to get a solid working title and an outline before I write a lot of. John’s written about this earlier, after he found he could accelerate his composing process ~600% by creating a summary first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I was repeating the same process for every new article I work on. Like any good programmer, I realised repeating the exact same work over and over means that’s probably a good chance for automation.
So I decided to create a few templates for myself.
I began by creating a template for my common Ghost blog post structure. Since that structure’s particular to me, I also created a template based on how John constructions his articles, and another according to a writer whose work I admire.
For each template I’ve made a gist to show you exactly what they look like. They are only Markdown documents, so go ahead and save them, rename them if you prefer, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you are ready to compose. Click on the”view raw” link to the bottom of each gist to view the plain text version, which you may copy to a new file on your favorite writing app.
With this template, I can start by answering each dot line using a couple of notes about what I should write in that section. By the time I am done, I will have a rough sketch of what the finished piece will look like. This should make it easier to enlarge my notes to fully-formed paragraphs and cause them to flow into each other nicely, because I understand the structure of the entire piece in advance.
Using the template, I discovered that my outlining process became more involved. I’d actually planned to do a complete rough draft of that post in the morning, but it took me a few hours just to get the outline done, so that I set the draft off for another day.
On the other hand, I had over 1600 words composed in my outline, and a solid idea about what each segment would comprise and how they’d work together to create a feeling of flow in the post. Even though outlining took more than usual, drafting took time because I’d set myself up for victory. Composing the draft was only a matter of taking each chunk of notes out of the outline and filling out it into a readable paragraph or two.
It was quite a different procedure to the way I normally work, and I was tempted a few times to prevent the extra research or thinking required to fill out the outline correctly. I frequently put off these things till I’m drafting, and that’s when I must be focused on writing instead. I adhered to it, however, and from the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I’d had.
I’ve actually coined my outline and research procedure by applying this template. It is a more productive part of my process now and makes printing easier. Hopefully it will lead to better function, too.
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