Words That Have Meaning: All, Never, Every, Any

Nothing gets my QA ears perked up quite like user stories with the words all, never, every, or any. Because we thrive on exceptions.

I recall a scenario from a few years ago while meeting with some customers about a new “quick and dirty” (another red flag) project. We heard lots of chatter about adding records, updating records, but nothing about deletions. I posed the question:

Me: Would you ever need to delete records from the system?
Customer: No… never… that would be really rare.

If you don’t see the problem, go back and re-read that quote.

Every time a customer, developer, or analyst says “all”, “never”, “every”, “any” or another catch-all definitive statement, start asking questions about if they really mean it.


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