‘Map out what your exploratory testing looks like, and compare it to what other testers do’
Exploratory testing isn’t monkey testing just bashing random things, but a planned activity where the tester briefly writes a session sheet which includes identifying the release/build/sprint, charter, test ideas/notes, defects and issues. It may look like scripted testing but it isn’t and I tend to jot some points during my scripted testing of areas I might need to watch carefully. It’s a time-boxed activity that you must stop testing once the time has lapsed resisting the urge to continue.
Why the session sheet, as I have noticed there are a few testers who conduct exploratory without it? It comes back to a couple of things for me, visibility for the stakeholder on test scope and traceability if an issue is located so I can replicate easily.
Things that could be included within exploratory testing:
- Check the UI against windows standards & visually it is correct (colour, logo, fonts etc) – make sure everything is where it should be
- Test fields input data alpha/numerical/special
- Test integration for a word doc or excel upload
- E2E testing the workflow for the product (internal & external process)
- Verify DB for above workflow displays
- Identify and test all claims made in the application manual
Below is a very basic high level workflow layout for one company that has a number of complex systems I have tested in the past. It was a large enterprise company that had many projects working in shared test environments. This required a tester to be aware of the code changes project teams were working on in the current release. Exploratory testing for that required a large amount of communication during the release cycle with other testers, to ensure you were aware of any changes that may affect your testing. When I say communication, I really mean building relationships so eventually when something is changed within another team the tester there thinks to email you an update. That takes time and personal investment but I promise you will pay excellent dividends personally & professionally. Don’t forget to return the favour.