SWTC London - Exploratory Testing (ET) and Charters


(Abigail) #1

Tonight was a total fill house! Over 35 people attended and we had an amazing time running “scouting” and charter focused exploratory sessions.

We kicked off with a bit of “show us whatcha got” and asked the small groups to test Troy Hunt’s www.hack-yourself-first.com site for if it was ready to release to the public. Despite guest host @tonybruce doing his best to distract as a Product Owner (no Tony…nothing about the site is aimed at selling cars!), our groups nearlly all found the site not fit for purpose.

But the interesting bit was when we then came together as a large group to discuss what they found, how they attacked the problem, and why the think the site is not fit for purpose. Below you can see the mind map we generated from this discussion. In particular there was a lot of discussion about the testing being “ad hoc” or “clicking around” (bottom middle of map) but this was then framed as a “scouting mission” (bottom left) which still meant value was created.

One of the biggest reasons this testing experience felt very ad hoc was because of the very broad ask. So we then discussed how chunking the features, behaviours, characteristics (shout out to the SWTC London - Identifying risk session!) to more reasonable sized test ideas could support better focus. This was the driver to then start identifying what those Charters (or chunks of risk to investigate) might be for the app. Again in small groups people generated extensive lists so much so that many blew right though our 10 minute break. As a group we then heard about the kickstart some groups needed to get away from commonly spoken about feature breakdowns and into more creative and valuable chunks.

And to wrap up the day we had each group pick one of their charters and execute it for 30 minutes. The creative and collaborative energy in the room was noticeably different from the first exercise which was extremely quiet and individually focused.

And we left everyone with some amazing resources to keep them learning as well as a couple of challenges.

So, who is going to be the first person to share their personal definition and explanation of exploratory testing that they can then use to disucss ET with colleagues?? Share them here so that we can all keep learning together!


(Tony) #2

Daniel shared his thoughts on the session here.