Since my first day as a Test Analyst, I’ve heard many people discussing Session Based Test Management (SBTM). However, after 18 months as a Test Analyst, my knowledge and experience of SBTM was still quite limited.
So when the opportunity to attend WeTest Auckland’s SBTM workshop came up, I knew I had to attend – although I did wonder how anyone could possibly learn SBTM in just two hours. The workshop – held on 9 June at Assurity’s Auckland office – was presented by Kim Engel who has many years’ experience of SBTM.
Let’s apply SBTM!
The fastest way to learn SBTM was to apply it in practice. We were all paired off to start our first testing session with only two pieces of information:
Mission: To test the search function of the website
Duration: 40 minutes
This sounded easy. But we all soon realised that Kim had deliberately limited the information supplied to encourage us to ask the right questions, rather than make assumptions. Asking the right questions helped us discover what was and wasn’t in scope.
Because a 40-minute session is quite short, I felt that this testing session should be spent getting to know the search function. It was obvious by the end of the session that testing the search function required far more time than anticipated. We also learned how one session can lead to the development of many more charters.
I personally found the session debrief the most valuable. Two groups were united and each subsequent group given a Test Analyst with extensive SBTM experience to act as Test Managers. The structure of the session debrief followed Jonathan Bach’s PROOF Concept – Past, Results, Obstacles, Outlook and Feelings.
I felt a little nervous as I was asked questions about what I did during the session. They also reviewed my testing notes, the questions prompting me to think about how I could have better structured my session and other possible areas I could have tested.
One question surprised me: ‘How did you feel about the session?’. So far in my testing career, I have never been asked this question. More common questions are ‘What has passed/failed?’ or ‘What’s blocking you?’. On reflection, being asked this question made the experience more personal. It wasn’t just about the results, but also about the impact of this experience.
If you’re interested in learning more about SBTM, I would highly recommend that you attend this eye-opening, engaging and challenging workshop. And you’ll learn far more than you would expect to in two hours!
James Bach – an internationally renowned test specialist, trainer and consultant and creator of the Rapid Software Testing course – will be the special guest presenter at WeTest Auckland’s next Meetup on Thursday 13 August.