Now that we know the evolution of Exploratory Testing, it is time to explore Session-Based Test Management [Bach]. This is a part of the Exploratory Testing Pathway. Many thanks to Marcel who sublimed this great resource on his blog, That’s the buffet table.
Session-Based Test Management
Session-Based Test Management is a method for measuring and managing exploratory testing created by James Bach. It was a reaction to claims that exploratory testing is Ad-Hoc testing. It provides a framework for testers to produce a detailed map of the exploratory testing journey.
Metrics in session-based test management are:
- Number of completed sessions
- Number of found problems
- Covered function areas
- Percentage of session time spent to set up testing.
- Percentage of session time spent testing.
- Percentage of session time spent investigating problems.
- Percentage of session time spent on opportunity testing
Bug Vs. Issues
Session-based test management distinguishes bugs from the issues. The bug is anything that threatens the value of the product. The issue is something that stands in the way of our testing process. For example, if we search Google for exploratory testing and we get page results about gardening, this is a bug. The issue is the secret page ranking algorithm.
In the session-based test management, we have the following sections:
- charter is our testing mission
- the area is part of a product that we test (for example a specific feature)
- session start time
- data files anything that supports charter or session, for example, test data
- notes – free form text that could be of following types: test idea, risk, oracle (bug detection mechanism), heuristic (test idea generator), function, data
Opportunity Vs. Charter
Opportunity is testing that is not related to the charter testing mission. This is a candidate for a new session charter.
Session-based test management is a framework that puts structure for exploratory testing. When you need to explain why exploratory testing is not ad hoc testing, just describe the structure of the session-based test management framework.