With 60% of the industry still functioning at 30% mobile test automation it’s clear that manual testing is taking a major chunk of a testing team’s time. As we acknowledge the need for both manual and automation testing, and without drilling down into the caveats of manual testing, let’s understand how can teams can reduce the time it takes, and even transition to an automated approach to testing.
1. Manual and Automation Testing: Analyze Your Existing Test Suite
You and your testing team should be well-positioned to optimize your test suite in one of the following ways:
– Scope out irrelevant manual tests per specific test cycles (e.g. not all manual tests are required for each sanity or regression test)
– Eliminate tests that consistently pass and don’t add value
– Identify and consolidate duplicate tests
– Suggest manual tests that are better-suited for automation (e.g. data driven tests or tests that rely on timely setup of environments)
The result should be a mixture of both manual and automation testing approaches, with the goal of shifting more of the testing toward automation.
2. Consider a Smooth Transition to “Easier” Test Frameworks
In most cases, the blocker for increasing test automation lies inside the QA team, and is often related to a skills gap. Today’s common mobile test automation tools are open-source, and require medium to high-level development skills in languages such as Java, C#, Python and Java Script. These skills are hard to find within traditional testing teams. On the other hand, if QA teams utilize alternatives such as Behavior Driven Development (BDD) solutions like Cucumber, it creates an easier path toward automation by virtue of using a common language that is easy to get started and scale.
3. Shift More Test Automation Inside the Dev Cycle
When thinking about your existing test automation code and the level of code coverage it provides, there may be a functional coverage overlap between the automated and manual testing. If the automation scripts are shared across the SDLC and are also executed post-commit on every build, this can shrink some of the manual validation work the testing team needs to do. Also – and miraculously related! – by joining forces with your development and test automation teams and having them help with test automation, it will decrease workload and create shorter cycles, resulting in happier manual testers.
Most businesses will continue to have a mix of manual and automation testing. Manual testing will never go away and in some cases, it is even a product requirement. But as you optimize your overall testing strategy, investing in techniques like BDD can make things much easier for everyone involved with both manual and automation testing throughout the lifecycle.