Discipline in Exploratory Testing

Some people when you say you do exploratory testing immediately think ad-hoc testing. I suppose because there is less emphasis on obvious structure and at the end there is little tangible evidence of testing performed.

But in my view, there's a lot more to exploratory testing than wandering aimlessly through an application looking for bugs.  As well as mentally challenging, it requires a lot of self-discipline.

Here's why you need self discipline:

1) You need self-discipline to test the parts that are not as interesting to you, or not as fun.  It's easy to overlook and 'forget' them when other parts are more appealing.

2) You need self discipline to give each bug the time it deserves before racing off to find new ones. Time to analyze, examine and understand. Only then, can you go and look for new bugs.

3) You need self-discipline to write up bugs when they are found, instead of leaving them until later or when you feel like it.

In my view,  in exploratory testing, as in many other ways of testing,  its the mission and the stakeholder that count and their needs must come first.

What's different is that instead of relying on documents and reports, you need discipline to  make sure you meet those goals.