How exploratory testing accelerates agile

by | Jun 7, 2017 | QA, Guest Article, Software Bugs, 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

Other content that might be interesting for you:

I’m Barbara and this is my role at Testbirds

My Role at Testbirds is a series of blog posts that gives insights into the daily life at the office. Every so often, one of our employees will...

My Tryst with Software Testing

This month, we have a special post from our tester Pramod, from India. Read on as he tells us a little about himself and his testing experience, and...

New year, new tester story: Meet Tatiana

Today, we’re happy to introduce Tatiana from Spain. She joined Testbirds last October and has already participated in several tests in English,...

Don’t Let the IT Language Scare You

You don’t need IT skills to become a software tester! Testbirds is an IT-based enterprise providing crowdsourced software testing services. Seems...

History’s Biggest Software Fails!

Last time on History’s Biggest Software Fails we looked at The Heartbleed Bug, which has been dubbed “perhaps the worst vulnerability found on the...

One week with my Shine

Last year, I bought myself a Sony Smartwach 2. Obviously, smartwatches haven’t been able to make a breakthrough yet, which is why I’m still getting...

Pre-App Store Rating – What, How and Why?

When developing an app it's often difficult for a developer to truly understand how and what end users want and require to have a great experience....

Zielgruppengerechte Apps und Webseiten: Was will (m)ein Kunde wirklich? Fragen Sie die Crowd!

Der digitale Wandel schreitet immer weiter und umfassender voran. Unternehmen aller Branchen sind dazu gezwungen, ihre Geschäftsmodelle zu...

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,...

The Internet of Things is here to stay. Our reflections from CES 2016!

Last week, a couple of our birds flew over the great pond and landed in the Nevada desert to attend CES 2016. More than 150 000 people attended the...

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!

I agree, to get marketing material from Testbirds: Get more info>


You have Successfully Subscribed!

Become a TESTER