Do you use charters for exploratory testing?

Do you use charters for your exploratory testing sessions? And do you have some specific format?

I tend to like them, just a simple template about goals, timeframe and the notes about my observations.

However, I did notice that in some companies there is a practice when they are out of work they just log those few missing hours as " exploratory testing" without actually doing any ET at all. :laughing:

I will share the lesson I got from one of the inventors James Bach and that is that the Charter is just the overall purpose of a session, not the session report itself and is typically one sentence.
For that sentence I have somewhat of a template which is something like this:

where Action is something like โ€œExploreโ€, โ€œReconโ€, โ€œAnalyzeโ€, โ€œWrap upโ€, โ€œTakeโ€. The Target will be some parts of the product or a Tour. And finally Limit is just to focus the scope a little and more often than not itโ€™s like a specific user. If you have personas they would go here. So they would look something like this:

  • Explore Check Out as a Returning Customer
  • Analyze Shipping Alternatives with Tolls
  • Take the Claims Tour
  • Wrap Up Check Out (this is typically for areas where there have been bug fixes)
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I like to set out charters for the ET that Iโ€™m doing, that helps me to focus my testing on finding useful information. I also take test notes to help with my debriefing afterwards.

I use Explore (scope) With (tools) to Discover (info about a risk) format that I think Elizabeth Hendrickson suggested in Explore It!

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