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How to Test Application Without Requirement Document?

How do you test application if requirement document is not available? One of the oracle is Requirement document. Testers uses for testing the application.

Fast Development Process

Reality of software development is completely different. Decade ago gathering requirement, documenting was crucial part of the project. It was a long process.

Now stakes are high, competition is high, Customers are impatient. No time to gather requirements. No time for documentation.

Possible Future of Development

I wonder the day would come where client would say that I have only 60 minutes to develop this product and Client is read to pay billions.

Can you imagine the chaos? People are finding these days hard to spend resources on requirement phase. As agile methodology emphasize on less document work. All the communication taken place through mails and chat.

Client keeps asking for new features and architecture keeps changing. New technologies are adopting to replace one which fails to accommodate requirements.


Main challenge is faced by the development team who implements the requirements and Test team who test the application.

No one has time to write requirement document. Both team lost in the chaos. Tester complains that without requirement document how can I raise a bug?

I wonder having said, correct requirement document would solve the problem of having good oracles. Isn’t it these oracles are used to win the dispute with developer?

Do you think you get updated requirement document for testing? How you ensure specified requirement details are correct? Did you understand it correctly?

Requirement documents creates ambiguity if not maintained well. Oracles are ambiguous. Tester can interpret requirements differently. Documents creates confusion.

Positive Side of Not Having Requirement Document

I think its bliss not to have written requirement.

Project takes turn, and keep changing. New requirements are in pipeline.

What is a use of the software if it does not solve the real problem inspite of you having clear precise requirement document.

There are crucial projects like medical application or products for which extensive documentation might be helpful.

What is Oracle?

It is the principle or mechanism by which the tester recognizes the problem

Let’s assume that you are a tester of a project where you don’t have good enough oracles. Now how do you raise a bug? What kind of oracles you would use? How do you know that it’s valid bug?

Questions that may help to test better

  • What application is trying to solve? Understanding purpose of the application, its users would help in testing.
  • Do you find bug history? I mean old bugs can provide lot of information. You can find pattern in existing bugs.
  • Can you access the application? You can learn application quickly by exploring it.
  • Can you imagine and act like a real user? You learn quickly as an end user.
  • Search for tacit knowledge. Tacit knowledge can not be captured in words. You wont find them in requirement or specification document. Discuss with developers, product owners, leads or seniors to get information on the application.

Don’t stop testing if you do not have requirement or any document. Acquire certain skills like exploration, questioning, observation to gather information quickly.


Savita Munde

Tester at Mindhunters
She is a Tester by profession. Works on various freelance QA projects. And she is twin's mom.

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One thought on “How to Test Application Without Requirement Document?

  1. Dwarika says:

    Long time ago, we are trained on one methodology of creating test cases for one line requirement, this is known as Noun and Verb methodology.

    In this we extract all noun and verb and write test case for its properties and attributes.

    So I think this is the answer to kind of situation where we don’t have any Requirement but we have to develop and test the product.

    Oracle is also good thing to test our input and find the expected output. This is only possible only when Company has cap of developing same kind of product and has a great experience in developing specific kind of product belongs to specific domain.


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