Develop a Hypothesis and Test It
After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
- Understand the benefits of testing a solution hypothesis.
- Understand the value of documenting all testing steps.
Your researching and replicating has pointed you in the direction of possible solutions to your user’s problem (hopefully). Next, based on your gathered knowledge and experience, pick the most likely solution on the list and test it. You may not be right on your first try. But incorrect solutions contain useful information and assist you in your subsequent educated guessing.
Once again, it’s highly recommended you avoid testing in your production org. Sandbox orgs were built for this, testing and developing in an isolated environment. Actions taken in a sandbox org do not affect your production org. And more than one sandbox org can be created so various rounds of tests can be performed.
As you test your pick for the most likely solution to your user’s problem, document the steps as you take them. A common troubleshooting mistake is only documenting the last steps of the solution. Some fixes are a culmination of many things you’ve tried. Make sure you document all steps necessary to get to the actual solution.
There are three main benefits of documenting each step of every test. This testing document:
- Serves as reference if you forget exactly how you fixed the problem.
- Avoids duplication of work as you go through multiple rounds of testing.
- Acts as documentation, if a solution does work.
Always document your testing actions.
Odds are, your first guess of the solution was not successful. That’s OK. In fact, that’s expected. Troubleshooting isn’t easy. One of the main keys to troubleshooting is persistence. Keep testing possible solutions. Return to your list of possible solutions and test the next one on the list. Repeat until successful. Success is just one educated guess away.
Test successful? If yes, Woohoo! [confetti, confetti, confetti] Before you start celebrating, verify the solution works for you and the affected user(s). Replicate all of the variables presented in the user’s scenario (actions, time, place, browser, and so on) to the best of your availability. Test as this user, test as that user, test under this criteria, test under that criteria, and test again!
All this testing might require you to start clean with a new sandbox, following your documented steps of the fix from start to finish. You don’t want to cause frustration for yourself and others by deeming something fixed that isn’t actually fixed. Did the solution pass all of your testing? If yes, now it is time to celebrate!
You’ve formulated a hypothesis, documented your actions, tried multiple solutions, and finally found the right solution. Log off, pack up your stuff, and put your feet up because you’re all done... right… right? Nope. The next step is putting the solution into action and helping to avoid the problem you solved from happening again.