What kind of testing you do when you have exploratory session?

Devira Kuswhara's picture

Hi, I'm just wondering what would a software tester do when they have iddle time and is encouraged to do exploratory test on the product. How do you set the test plan and what are things you would like to include on the test result report?

3 Answers

Thad Butterworth's picture

There are a lot of different approaches and options you can take, but the whole point of Exploratory is to not restrict yourself with an all encompassing test plan or a set of pre-defined test cases. I would recommend reading the book Lessons Learned in Software Testing. It would also be highly valuable to read any articles written by James Bach, Cem Kaner, and Michael Bolton. 


Tracking and reporting Exploratory can be a bit tricky, as it doesn't fit the model most people use when testing (test cases, etc). I would recommend using Session Based Test Management. The three authors I mentioned above will have the best materials to read on what SBTM is and how to implement it.


Exploratory testing is a highly valuable tool and if implemented well it can really help you find the bugs that all other scripted tests will miss. However, I have seen quite a few companies try to implement some form of Exploratory without really understanding what it is. At it's core, Exploratory testing is a concurrent process of design, execution, observation, and investigation. I've seen a lot of places where they haphazardly implement Exploratory and end up giving up on it because it "didn't work" for them. I highly recommend reading up on and doing some study of Exploratory first, especially from the authors I mentioned. It will give you the best opportunity to implement a powerful and fun tool in your testing efforts.

Kanika Vatsyayan's picture

As it comes from the name, Exploratory testing is more of a free approach where you have the entire control of the test process. However, the selection of tests entirely depends on the product which is under test. For instance, an eCommerce website has a defined path of use for any activities that users might need to perform.


However, if it is software that allows users to perform a similar task with different approaches, it becomes crucial to explore all the scenarios that, if unexplored, could hamper the end-user experience.   

Broadly, the exploratory testing thus can be taken forward in the direction of scenario-based or maybe strategy-based testing, if not worked on an ad-hoc approach which is more of a freestyle test process.   

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