Creating Effective Test Charters for Session-Based Exploratory Testing

Creating Effective Test Charters for Session-Based Exploratory Testing

3 July 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment QA

Session-based exploratory testing relies heavily on well-crafted test charters. These charters guide the tester by outlining the session’s goals without being overly prescriptive. This balance allows testers to adapt their approach based on what they discover during testing. For testers accustomed to script-heavy environments, transitioning to effective charter creation can be challenging. Here, we will explore key attributes of good test charters and provide practical tips for structuring them.

Attributes of a Good Test Charter

A good test charter should:

  • Clearly define the session’s goal
  • Be concise but informative
  • Allow flexibility for the tester to explore
  • Avoid being overly directive

Practical Tips for Structuring Test Charters

When structuring your test charters, consider the following tips:

  • Start Simple: Avoid the temptation to write out numerous charters early in the project. Initial sessions should focus on reconnaissance to identify areas that are complex, buggy, or incomplete.
  • Use Mind Maps: Mind maps can help create a checklist of areas to explore and types of testing to employ. This visual approach aids in organizing thoughts and ensuring comprehensive coverage.
  • Iterate Based on Discoveries: As you test, modify the scope of your charter if needed and note any new charters that emerge from your findings.
  • Keep It Brief: A charter should be succinct enough to fit into a tweet. This ensures clarity and focus.
  • Pair Testers: For inexperienced testers, pair them with seasoned testers to guide them through the charter. This mentorship can enhance learning and effectiveness.

Common Patterns and Pitfalls

Following common patterns can help in structuring your charters effectively:

  • Recon Charters: Use these initially to gather information about the system and identify key areas of focus.
  • User Story Approach: Define the area of the feature to be tested, the testing approach (functional, performance, etc.), and any recent changes that might impact testing.
  • Document Findings: Record detailed observations and insights during the session to inform future charters and testing strategies.

Avoid these common pitfalls:

  • Creating overly generic charters that lack clear focus
  • Writing charters that are essentially disguised test cases
  • Overcomplicating charters with unnecessary details

Integrating Repeato for Enhanced Exploratory Testing

While creating effective test charters is crucial, leveraging the right tools can significantly enhance your exploratory testing efforts. Repeato, a no-code test automation tool for iOS and Android, offers a fast and efficient way to create, run, and maintain automated tests. By using computer vision and AI, Repeato allows testers to quickly adapt and modify tests based on new discoveries, much like the iterative approach recommended for test charters. This flexibility makes it an excellent choice for quality assurance teams looking to streamline their testing processes.

For more information on how to enhance your testing strategies, explore our documentation and blog.

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