Tests are executed according to the test cases, although our Test Manager is allowing some amount of latitude so that our testers are covering additional interesting test scenarios and behaviors that are observed during testing. When following a test strategy that is at least in part reactive, sometimes it is reserved for test sessions using experience-based and defect-based techniques. Of course, any failure detected during such unscripted testing must describe the variations from the written test case that are necessary to reproduce the failure. Automated tests are following their defined instructions without deviation.
The main role of our Test Manager during test execution is to monitor progress according to the test plan and, if required, to initiate and carry out control actions to guide testing toward a successful conclusion in terms of mission, objectives, and strategy. To do so, our Test Manager is using traceability from the test results back to the test conditions, the test basis, and ultimately the test objectives, and also from the test objectives forward to the test results.