In a software test automation field, a testing department that has just started this type of testing can’t frequently eliminate the execution of manual test cases from their everyday working process.
These problems usually happen due to the following reasons:
- A testing department prefers manual test execution because they like doing it;
- QA as a service doesn’t always understand the meaning of automation. Of course, if one is not proficient at automated testing, manual testing becomes more important for them. But this change is not always good. It’s easy to develop qualitative automated tests but if you have decided to do this task, be responsible and attentive;
- Automation has covered only half of the tests.
For sure, some of these examples make sense but all problems are limited to the correct coordination of automated and manual testing.
Popular problems of the coordination of manual and automated testing
Problem 1: defining what should be automated and what — should not.
There is no universal and correct answer to this problem.
But if we try to answer it, we will need to take into account one of three factors at a minimum:
- A potential rate of payback or, in other words, what is the profit from the development of automated tests;
- The complexity of testing — this means the complexity of test creation and the way to execute it easily. Several types of tests can hardly be executed manually, and some tests can’t be automated (such as usability). You should properly select tests that can be automated and the ones that should be better executed manually;
- Software stability is, perhaps, the most important problem of any automated test — a possibility to adjust to software changes. Some platforms can do this automatically but no software can improvise like a real user. This factor can also be helpful while dividing tests into automated tests and manual tests.
Problem 2: coordinating the tasks between an automation department and a manual testing department
Critical problems sometimes happen due to the big difference between manual testers and first-class automated QA engineers.
So the question arises: who should be responsible and for what?
- Should an automated tester decide what needs to be tested or is this only the privilege of a manual tester?
- Who is responsible for the test run?
- And what will happen if an automated test fails? Should a manual tester check a defect or this is the task of an automation department?
The answers to all these questions should be given as soon as possible but still, there are no universal solutions.
Tips on how to coordinate the cooperation between automated testers and manual QA engineers
- Make sure that a testing department is completely coordinated while performing automated testing. Organize regular meetings and discussions, making everyone take an active part in planning of testing tasks;
- Manual testers and automation specialists should cooperate in a completely integrated environment where they can easily execute automated and manual tests. This step will help to straightly estimate a level of software test coverage, analyze at what stage a general testing process is now, and how many resources have been engaged. The main thing is to end testing logically and it’s not so important in what way it will be done;
- Build a testing process in the way that automation is an additional tool for a team of manual testers. A properly built process guarantees good relations between automated testers and manual testers. Both teams should keep in mind that they don’t compete for a number of bugs found; they solve common problems.