I have just spent the weekend at a very inspiring peer conference on exploratory testing (Swedish Workshop on Exploratory Testing, SWET1) in Stockholm.
There were many interesting presentations and discussions, but what is on my mind right now is James Bach’s presentation on thread-based test management, http://www.satisfice.com/blog/archives/503 . I have been trying to adopt Session-Based Test Management (SBTM) for a while, but never managed to do any proper time-boxing since I would typically be interrupted in the middle of a session and have to abort or restart.
Quite often I will start a test activity, be interrupted and not finish the session, start a new test activity, not complete that session either for whatever reason and so on. Working this way makes me stressed since
- It feels like I never finish anything.
- I do not have an overview of what I am doing and what the status of the different tasks is.
I have also come to realize that in some cases I feel a bit hemmed in by the actual session. Even if the conditions change or something urgent comes up I still feel obliged to finish the session before I start a new activity. In those cases when I work in a chaos of sorts I think this perceived need to “be loyal” to my session reduces my efficiency.
So, I’m going to have a go at thread-based test management instead, and I start by making a mind map!