Manual & Automation Testing: Need, Challenges & Co-existence

Manual & Automation Testing

Do you still have to run manual tests, when you can easily run them on automation? 

You’re not alone if you do this. Many QA teams also “find reasons” to manually run some of their automated test cases and surprisingly this practice is also followed in enterprises with established automation processes.

There are many reasons which QA teams give for doing this. Some of them are as follows:

  1. “We only perform automated tests manually if they are of significant nature”- The problem with this statement is that it ignores the fact that typically automated tests are selected in the first place on the basis of their importance and significance. 
  2. ‘’We don’t trust our entire automation process’’ – It is clear that it is not a trivial job to build successful automation checks, so if you have already spent time and resources in automation, you should also ensure that it is performed properly so that you can completely rely on it and not wasting your time or resources. 
  3. “We are not entirely certain what automation covers and what manual tests cover.” When you have two different teams, this is a frequent issue: one for manual test checking and the other one for automation. 

This last practice is not a bad practice, allowing different teams to manage distinct forms of testing, but good coordination and organized collaboration are the secrets to its effectiveness. 

The Need For Both Manual & Automated Testing

Indeed it’s unusual to find any corporation that does not have a mixture of both manual and automated testing frameworks. When the integration is effective it is because Manual testing and Automated testing do not undermine one another, rather they strengthen each other and generate a more dynamic testing environment.

Automated testing typically increases the speed and accuracy of testing, but it is just as effective as the scripts you have prepared. The automated testing process is complemented by manual testing to detect challenges from the user’s viewpoint, or unintended glitches from unscripted situations, etc. Along with effective robotics, there is a strong need for human research heuristics.

Some instances of the good mix of automated and manual testing are where you use a hybrid of these tests to address multiple facets of the very same feature, or were manual tests start-up where automation ended; or when tests are really only ‘semi-automatic’ and require human interaction in tests to progress towards the next set of tests for automation.

How To Ensure Proper Coordination Between Manual & Automated Testing?

As noted above, coordination and collaboration are the secrets to a synergetic QA process for both automation and manual checking.

In order to accelerate the research process while increasing quality and efficacy, here are few basic tips for how to mix automated and manual testing in your company.

  1. The tools for the job are the perfect way to keep test coverage in line by providing an automated test management environment assembled by one or more suitable tools. Take note: often automation teams use unique tech tools than manual testing teams, so the aim is to check that they have functionality that is super powerful and easy.
  2. Automation is a tool intended to aid and encourage manual testing activities by resolving time issues so that complicated, experimental, and heuristic manual testing can provide some time to coordinate between eachother that leads to a good QA phase in its entirety.
  3. As coordination is crucial, you need to arrange “sharing sessions” in your everyday life as frequent teamwork meetings. Automation and manual research teams should all be willing partners and organize each project’s testing activities together as well as share insights on the defect tracking software they are using to complete their tasks on a daily basis.

Challenges when coordinating robotic and manual monitoring 

Significant difficulties arise when you first try to integrate the work of the manual and automatic testing. 

And the most common and biggest of them all is pinpointing what needs to be moved from automated monitoring to manual. This is the first obstacle, and one of the most critical choices you have to take is that the importance you realize from your automation effort will be determined by it. Three central factors determine this major decision and are key to solving this problem. Let’s break them down:

  1. The difficulty of the test applies both to the difficulty of producing the automated script, but also to how simple it is to manually execute the test. There are checks that are actually too difficult to perform manually (for example, checking the product’s API) and there are some that are almost impractical to automate (e.g. usability of a feature). To be either automatic or manual, you have to accurately select what tests are more appropriate.
  2. ROI – the gain/return on the investment to automate the test, or in simpler words, what you will learn from this particular script automation.

This is about how much you’re going to get to automate your script vs. how often you’re going to automate it and how much energy and time you save because of it.

  1. AUT stability – Perhaps the greatest difficulty of any automated evaluation is to deal with modifications to the AUT (Application Under Test). There are some automation systems that do this more than most, but like the way human-testers do, no automated device would be able to’ improvise and learn’. If this is the case, you have to apply this consideration to the list of items that will help you pick whether to simplify and try not to work on product fields that you know will in the immediate future experience drastic changes.

Conclusion – Better Communication Leads To Better Coordination

You need to ensure that all members of both teams of automation and manual testers are always on the same page and work on the very same agenda, same defect tracking software at all times. They should be able to organize their daily tasks based on the same goals and recognize how each team member allows the other to accomplish the organization’s objectives. In basic terms, how they work together to make their method of testing quicker, wider, and consequently more effective. And all of this equates to much better coordination between manual and automation tests in the long run.