Any tips or hurdles from those of you that have successfully implemented exploratory testing during your regression testing?
Exploration is an approach. Regression testing is a technique.
You usually do regression testing after something changed in the product - internally or externally.
One way, at least to start regression testing is with exploration.
I’d explore: what changed? how can I find that out? do I understand the changes? can someone guide me through them a bit? do I understand the context of changes - why were they made, what did business want, how did the developers understand it?, where were they made? by whom? can I see the changes somehow - code, documents, e-mails, sketches, tools, interfaces? do the changed things have a history(anyone changed something often there, bugs were easily introduced in some area, complicated code, constant complaints with the feature, etc…), is the code of the change re-used somewhere, or maybe it isn’t but should be? is the change made in one place but should be in more similar places? how can I setup the environment/s to have a first look at the change? etc.
Once you start to understand some of these you might continue to explore. At some point exploration will decrease. You’ll start seeing some risks and performing some experiments.
Some of those experiments you might want them to be new. For some you might apply some test-idea you’ve already done before.
There’s no one right answer. It depends on context first, then the testers capabilities, system understanding, knowledge of the business and application, history of the product, people and people relations, technical understanding, exploration and critical/lateral thinking, a bit of skepticism to what he’s told…etc
The less ‘aware’ you are of things the more you should step up and start doing explorations and deep testing. Otherwise there’s a large chance you’re just confirming with your cases what you know and bugs are easily introduced without anyone noticing or ever looking for them.