Select Page

How exploratory testing accelerates agile

by | Jun 7, 2017 | QA, Guest Article, Software bugs & malfunctions, Test Automation | 0 comments

It was J. R. R. Tolkien who wrote: ‘Not all those who wander are lost’ and this rings true when it comes to exploratory testing. Many in the industry believe exploratory testing is the future of manual testing – especially for Agile processes. And chances are you’re already doing exploratory testing – whether you call it that or not.

Exploratory testing is much more than error guessing or common bug hunting; it’s an orchestrated event that enables agile teams to not only catch bugs earlier, but also to collaborate on more effective session-based testing. Combining exploratory testing with other practices is one of the most effective ways to maximize the power of your testing, increase your product quality, and decrease risk. Studies have shown how the amount of critical defects discovered increase when exploratory testing is carried out alongside traditional specification-based testing.

All of the evidence points to the fact that exploratory testing is the next big movement in manual testing and beyond. Here are three ways Agile automated testing teams can benefit from exploratory testing:

1. Exploratory testing exposes defects that automated testing misses
By exploring product territories from various perspectives – without extensive planning – exploratory testing rapidly exposes defects. The human intelligence involved in exploratory testing gives you a broader, deeper view than any automated test could.

For example, an automated test could indicate if a UI element worked properly, but it couldn’t determine if that UI element was confusing to the end-user. Even if exhaustive automated testing were feasible – which it’s not, in compressed agile sprints – such issues would still evade it. Moreover, because exploratory testing encourages branching and, well, exploration of different stories and ideas, it uncovers more issues than structured, predefined manual testing does.

2. Exploratory testing helps Agile team members collaborate to expose more types of defects
With exploratory testing, a diverse group of people – including developers, product owners, UX designers, business analysts, and support engineers – can all contribute to the quality effort, because no specialized test automation or scripting knowledge is required. These people each bring different specialties and perspectives to the table.

With a larger and more diverse group examining the application, you expose a broader variety of issues and reduce the risk that critical issues go unnoticed. There’s never enough time or resources to test absolutely everything, but if you perform exploratory testing from many different perspectives, you can get more risk reduction from whatever time and resources you can allocate to testing.

3. Exploratory testing finds functional defects when automated testing is not (yet) viable
Automated testing isn’t always feasible or advisable. Sometimes a sprint focuses on prototyping some new functionality that’s expected to evolve dramatically over the subsequent sprints. In this case, it might not make sense to spend time on test automation.

Alternatively, many teams transitioning to agile bring legacy regression test suites that take weeks to execute (and usually considerably more time to update and maintain). How do they safeguard quality while they’re transitioning to a more suitable automated testing strategy?

Exploratory testing is perfect for performing a quick sanity check on new functionality and its most prominent impacts across the application. If you use an exploratory testing tool to automatically record and document your efforts, any defects found are easily reproducible. Later, when the team does add test automation, you can integrate and correlate the automated test results with the exploratory testing results.

Exploratory testing is not the answer for all your testing needs; no single technique could promise that. It is, however, the perfect complement to automated testing and the agile future of manual testing.

Tag Cloud

About the author

Chelsea Frischknecht

Chelsea Frischknecht

Influencer Relations at Tricents

This is a guest blog post written by Chelsea Frischknecht, Tricentis, and published on the Testbirds Blog by Susanne Reichert.

Categories

Links

Other content that might be interesting for you:

UX-Battle: Mobile vs. Desktop – CNN and The New York Times

CNN and The New York Times – certainly two very big names in the news industry that know how to present themselves. To show you the capabilities of...

How regression testing can help optimise your software

Regression tests usually are initiated when a programmer fixes bugs or adds codes for new functionality for the system. There can be a lot of...

Why Santa needs to Crowdtest his Christmas List

The month of December has just begun. Commercials would portray this month using images of families sitting around a fire place in cozy sweaters...

DMEXCO 2019: Building Trust with Your Customers

Recently, we were at DMEXCO where 40,000 marketers flocked to Cologne for the latest and coolest in marketing and advertising, with a focus on the...

Prototype testing – What, how and why?

In the last edition of the series What, How and Why?, we gave you a closer look at Card Sorting. It helps you find the right menu structure for your...

How exploratory testing accelerates agile

It was J. R. R. Tolkien who wrote: ‘Not all those who wander are lost’ and this rings true when it comes to exploratory testing. Many in the...

Software failure leads to economic damage

Recently, a national survey has been conducted in the Netherlands that sheds light on the economic impact of software failure. The results are...

Will software test itself in the future? How Artificial Intelligence is changing the testing landscape

Whether you are steering your navigation system in your car by voice recognition or telling your smart speaker at home which song to play,...

Testbirds Holiday Apps: Halloween

In the midst of Autumn, characterized by dead leaves that stain a cold ground an auburn hue and naked branches which caress your periphery vision,...

Anti-Virus Software for your smartphone – Do you use it?

Remember the time we actually went and purchased a CD with Anti-Virus Software from our PC Reseller? They were not that cheap, but it had to be...

Testbirds specialises in the testing of software such as apps, websites and Internet of Things applications by using innovative technologies and solutions. Under the slogan, “Testing Reality”, the company offers various testing methods to its clients looking to optimise the user-friendliness and functionality of their digital products. With over 250,000 registered testers located in 193 countries, Testbirds is one of the world’s leading crowdtesting providers. In addition, the IT service provider utilises cloud based technologies to support customers in the optimisation of their digital products. The combination of the two testing methods delivers a unique and extensive portfolio that takes the quality of software to the next level. Testbirds was founded in 2011 by Philipp Benkler, Georg Hansbauer and Markus Steinhauser. Today, the company has over 100 employees. Other than its headquarters in Munich, there are now offices in Amsterdam, London and Stockholm, franchises in Hungary and Russia and sales partners in Italy.

© Testbirds GmbH. All rights reserved.

Subscribe to the Testbirds Whistler!

Receive updates on our innovative testing services, webinars, brand-new Nest features!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

@ Contact