When is Manual Testing more preferred than Automated Testing?

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Each business can reap a number of benefits by automating it software testing efforts. In addition to reducing overall software testing time, the test automation tools generate more reliable test results, and eliminate possibilities of human errors. At the same time, the tester can use a suite of tests to assess all aspects of the software, and reuse the same test cases to assess the software under different conditions. But each testing tool has its own shortcomings. Also, it is not possible for any business to automate all its software testing efforts efficiently. The organization further has to deploy skilled testers write, debug and maintain the test scripts effectively. There are also certain situations where a business has to test the software manually without using any test automation tool.

7 Situations when Enterprises Prefer Manual Testing to Automated Testing

1) When a Business Adopts Agile Methodology

Many businesses nowadays adopt agile software development methodology to deliver quality software applications within a shorter amount of time. But the approach does not consider software development and software testing as two distinct processes. It requires an application to be tested throughout the software development lifecycle. Also, agile methodology requires developers, testers, managers and clients to coordinate with each other throughout the project. Most test automation tools and frameworks available in the market are not designed based on agile software development principles. These tools do not enable testers to test the software continuously. So testers have to evaluate the software manually in an agile environment to generate quality test results.

2) While Assessing the Software’s User Experience

While testing a software application, the testers have to assess its functionality, performance, usability, and user experience. The test automation tools enable testing professionals to assess the application’s functionality and performance efficiently within a shorter amount of time. But the tools cannot assess the usability and user experience of the application as they lack human observation. Hence, the testers must perform usability testing manually, to measure the user-friendliness and user experience of the software accurately.

3) While Testing Small or Short-Term Projects

A business can reuse the same test automation tools to test multiple software applications. Also, the tools enable testers to evaluate a single software application under varying conditions. But each business needs to implement a comprehensive test automation strategy, in addition to investing in the right test automation tools. So many businesses prefer testing small and short-term projects without using any tools. A business can easily test the small and simple software applications manually, while avoiding additional expenses.

4) When a Business Opts for Exploratory Testing

A number of studies have highlighted the effectiveness of exploratory testing methodology to identify more bugs or flaws in a software application. The testing approach allows testing professional to write and execute test cases at once, while using analytical and reasoning skills. The testers can further perform random testing to assess the usability and user experience of the application accurately. The testing professionals cannot use test automation tools while performing exploratory or random testing. Hence, they have to perform the required tests manually to generate more accurate test results.

5) While Testing Touch Technology Based Software

The massive popularity of mobile devices has made it essential for businesses to build software based on touch technologies. The emulators and simulators make it easier for testers to test software across multiple devices and platforms. But these tools often fail to assess the data input and user experience of the software accurately on various models of smartphones, tablets and phablets. So the testers need to perform the required tests manually while evaluating touch technology based software application.

6) When Requirements Change Constantly

Nowadays, business requirements and functionality of the software keep changing throughout the software development life cycle. But the test automation tools cannot meet the changing requirements efficiently. The testers have to frequently redesign or rewrite the test automation scripts to test the new business requirements. When the requirements change frequently, the professionals to write new test scripts and reprogram existing test scripts on a regular basis. But testers can easily assess the impact of changing business requirements by testing the software manually.

7) When a Business wants to Curtail Project Overheads

At present, each business has option to choose from several open-source and licensed software testing tools. The open-source tools enable businesses to automate their software testing efforts without spending a lot of money. But the free tools often lack the advanced features and functionalities provided by commercial software testing tools. Hence, the testers find it difficult to assess complex software thoroughly and efficiently with these open source test automation tools. They also have to perform certain tests manually to generate more reliable test results by overcoming the limitations of free software testing tools.

On the whole, automated testing both complements and enhances manual testing. But test automation cannot replace manual testing completely. Hence, it is important for the manager to decide the testing efforts that can be automated efficiently. The managers also need to choose from manual or automated testing based on specific requirements and certain situations.

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