But the question I ask myself is, how should a test charter be built at all?
In this case we used the tips from Elisabeth Hendrickson.
For example, in our project we used an easy test charta template as followed:
Easy template as example
Investigate a goal with medium/resources in order to find (more) information about it
So what does this mean?
- Goal: Could be a feature or a function or a small requirement (user story)
- Medium / resources: Which medium or resources are required for executing the test scenario? This could be tools, data, configurations etc. everything which is required for executing the test scenario
- Information: What would you like to detect when executing exploratory testing? Would you like to discover the security of the system? The performance? Usability of the system or something different?
Lets investigate a given example:
"Investigate the surname with the given name Peter's in a profile (e.g. webbased system), in order to check, whether the surname with apostrophe can be changed."
In this case the testcharta is not a testcharta, it is actually a testcase. Because it is clearly saying what you should do (changing the apostrophe -> this is a clearly action to perform the test case in a clearly way).
Better is this way:
"Investigate the xy webpage login with a wrong login Parameter in order to verify, that user should not be able to login, because he has not paid for it"
A good testcharta is actually some kind of inspiration to broaden your skills during test execution. It is not saying "do this way and then this" like in a test case.
Can the decision on the charter also take place during the test? Or should the charter only be defined before the explorative test?
That is difficult and good question. Generally exploratory testing "is test design and test execution at the same time." So in our case we used QaSymphony / Tricentis. During test session it was creating test cases. But before starting with test execution we made some description of the test charta what we wanted to execute. It was really described in a roughly way (as desribed above). This is a agile way of testing! There are several methods how to execute this.
One hint from my side: I would not try to adapt the style of ISTQB. From my point of view ISTQB is good for giving advice how you should structure your tests, but it is not agile.
I myself was using ISTQB but when I detected James Bach, we made the decision to test more with agile methods. Maybe the link is very helpful for you and you understand what I mean :-)
Exploratory testing is not Experience Based testing
More information about agile testing / exploratory testing:
Satisfice Blog James Bach
Happy testing! :-)