WTANZ 19 – Creating Charters and Confirmation Bias

WTANZ 19 – Creating Charters and Confirmation Bias

Date: Saturday 29th March, 2014

Time: 2:00 PM AEDT (click here to check time in your timezone)

Facilitator: Alessandra Moreira

Attendees: JeanAnn Harrison, Santosh Mohan, Bibhu Parida, Saaketh G, Olga, Nachi, Teri Charles, Anne-Marie Charrett, Jyothi Rangaiah, Karthikeyan Palaniswamy


Experience Report:

“Exploratory Testing charters define the area we’re testing and the kind of vulnerabilities we’re looking for”*. Charters are an important part of exploration and how we set them can have an impact in the testing we do. Being able to create charters that are not too vague or too detailed can be seeing as as form of art.

The goal for this session was to practice creating charters and discuss what impact confirmation bias can have when testing. The session was setup to break the group into two teams, give them 2 slightly different missions (one which emphasized good development and no bugs, and the other emphasized that developers were inexperienced and there were lots of bugs) – with the aim of discussing how differently the two groups would approach test planning with that information in mind.

As with any exploratory testing session, the mission of this WTANZ session had to adapt to context. As the session progressed, the mission changed to ‘understanding charters’ only, as there was confusion about the definition of a charter. Accordingly we went back to basics and discussed:

  • What is a charter
  • How to create and use charters
  • The importance of asking questions when testing
  • How do we know what to test
  • Basics of SBTM

By the end of the session we all had a better understanding as we got to talk and practice these concepts. We never got to talk about the influence of confirmation bias, but not to worry, we will cover it in a future session.

The full transcript for this session is here. The original missions given to the groups are here: Team A, Team B.


*Rigorous Exploratory Testing – Elizabeth Hendrickson

About the Author

I am a tester from Sydney, Australia currently living in New York. I am passionate about learning and helping other testers find their passion and strengths.