Most modern software applications deliver complex functionalities across multiple devices and platforms. So it becomes almost impossible to assess all aspects of the software manually within a stipulated amount of time. The test automation tools and frameworks enable testers to perform a variety of tests and repeat the required tests within a stipulated timeframe. But no business can automate all its testing efforts. Also, both manual and automated testing have a number of shortcomings. There are situations when manual testing is preferred over automated testing. That is why; it becomes essential for the test manager to coordinate manual and automated software testing efforts efficiently.
Tips to Coordinate Manual and Automated Software Testing Efforts
Manual Testing and Automated Testing Complement Each Other
Many QA testing professionals believe that automated testing is an alternative to manual testing. But automated testing, in reality, both complements and enhances manual testing. The primary objective of both types of testing is same. Also, the testing speed and consistency increased by the software testing tools and frameworks depend on the quality of test cases. Also, the tools cannot be used to assess the software from the perspective on end users. So the manager must make the testing professionals realize that manual testing and automation testing complement each other.
Blend Manual and Automated Testing Seamlessly
In addition to automating manual tests, the manager can also encourage testing professionals to perform manual testing with tools. He can even consider combining manual and automated testing properly to assess different aspects of the same feature or functionality. Some of these tests will require the manual testers to start working once the automation ends. Likewise, certain semi-automated tests will require the manual testers to intervene between two distinct sets of automated tests. The combination will make the members of manual and automated testing teams to stay connected and coordinate with each other consistently. The automated testing professionals should always follow the test automation best practices.
Define the Test Cases for Automation Clearly
The manager can easily coordinate the manual and automated testing efforts by clearly defining the test cases for automation. No manager can automate all software testing efforts. Test managers need to pick the test cases to be automated based on important criteria like repetitiveness, complexity of the application, variations in test data, and investment in test automation tools. The managers can clearly separate the manual and automated testing efforts while preparing the test plan. The software QA testing professionals can refer to the test plan and avoid any misunderstanding and confusion in future.
Facilitate Constant and Efficient Communication
The manager must facilitate effective communication between the manual testing team and automated testing team. The communication will make members of these teams work together, and coordinate with each other to accomplish the common objective. The manager can even consider arranging sharing or update sessions on a daily basis, and encourage both manual and automated testers to plan and schedule the testing activities together. The constant communication is essential for coordinating the manual and automated testing efforts efficiently.
Create an Integrated Test Management Environment
It is also important for the test manager to make the members of both manual and automated testing team work together and in a single environment. The unified and integrated test management environment will boost coordination and cooperation among individual professionals. However, the manager still needs to pick the right tools to maximize test coverage and effectuate the testing efforts. He further needs to pick the test management solution by keeping in mind the test automation tools used by automated testing team.
Managers need to prepare comprehensive test plans to clearly identify the tests to be performed manually and tests to be automated. It is also important to decide type of manual and automated testing based on test coverage. Hence, the manager must plan the entire software testing process in advance to coordinate the manual and automated software testing efforts efficiently.