No matter which degree of exploration we use, we have to follow the principles in the general test process. We must plan and monitor; we must specify, execute, and record; and we must check for completion.
In the planning we consider what we are going to do and who is going to do it. We must choose the degree of exploration and describe the appropriate activities. The testing activities should be divided into one-hour sessions. If the sessions are shorter we risk not getting an effective flow in the exploration; if they are longer we get tired and the effectiveness goes down.
It is important to make sure that the tester or testers are protected during the sessions. There should be no phones or other interruptions to disturb the flow of the testing.
The test specification, execution, and recording are done simultaneously during our sessions of exploratory testing. Within the defined boundaries of exploration the tester remains prepared to get distracted – reason being you never know what you may find.
Stock must be taken from time to time to verify that we are on track.
For each session we must do the following:
1) Take extensive notes and attach data files, screen dumps, and/or other documentation as appropriate
2) Produce an overview over findings
3) Reprioritize the remaining activities