The number of organizations implementing formal software testing strategies is increasing gradually. Likewise, most companies nowadays prefer automating their testing efforts to save time and cost. But each organization must remember that it cannot automate the process completely. So the software testing strategy must focus on identifying and addressing major challenges as seen in manual testing.
The primary objective of manual testing is to make the software defect free, and ensure that it is working according to the requirement specification document. But the testers are required to perform manual testing without using test scripts and test automation tools. Therefore, they must address a number of important challenges to make the manual testing process effective.
Major Challenges Associated with Manual Testing
Testing the Whole Application
The QA professionals cannot test the complete software application manually. It is impossible to execute the large number of test cases required for testing the whole application manually. As they are required to complete the process within a stipulated timeframe, it is important for the organization to be clearly defined the specific combinations to be tested.
Understanding the Client Needs Clearly
As noted earlier, QA professionals need to ensure that the software application meets specific needs of the client. So they need to understand the requirements of the client clearly. At the same time, it is also important for them to communicate the client needs clearly to the developers in a clear and unambiguous way. Before starting the process, the QA professionals must pay full attention to the client’s needs.
Deciding the Required Skills
Manual testing requires QA professionals who possess a variety of skills like communication, analytical and trouble shooting. Once the professional starts working on the application, he will keep finding more defects or bugs. So he must get the bugs fixed to continue testing. This is the reason why most testers find it a daunting challenge to perform regression testing manually. When they have good communication, analysis and trouble shooting skills they can keep executing test cases by getting the bugs fixed without any delay.
Selecting the Right Testers
The experience and skills of individual QA professionals vary. As manual testing requires good communication, analytical and trouble shooting skills, it becomes essential for the organization to deploy the right personnel on the job. The manager must build an efficient team, by focusing on the expertise and skills of each individual, to manage the pressure and stress associated with conducting the exhaustive process manually.
Building Accurate Test Designs
The outcome of a manual testing project will be impacted by the quality and accuracy of the test designs. But the complex design of the software and accompanying risks make it difficult for QA professionals to create accurate designs. Further, to create the most accurate designs; the professional must have test designing skills along with adequate domain knowledge.
Prioritizing Test Case Execution
While testing a software application manually, the QA professionals are required to execute a variety of tests without using any tools. At the same time, they also need to prioritize test cases, and decide which ones are to be performed first. But the professionals often have to modify the sequence of test case execution in case some problem occurs in the middle of the testing phase.
Meeting the Deadline
At present, time is one of the most important constraints in software development and testing. Like developers, the testers are also required to perform all tests within a stipulated timeframe. As they cannot execute all test cases within the stipulated amount of time, they mostly focus on completing the tasks. The emphasis on completing their tasks on schedule affects the overall quality of manual testing.
Testing without Tools and Script
The use of test automation tools both effectuate and expedite software testing process. Despite being required to complete the project within a predefined timeframe, the manual testers are not allowed to use any tools or test scripts. So they often find it more challenging to execute the test cases manually. Also, the manual test case execution requires both additional time and effort.
An organization must remember that the same process can be conducted manually or using automation tools. So the strategy must clearly identify the tests to be conducted manually. Most businesses prefer using manual testing for test cases that need not run repeatedly. Even though it is cost-efficient, the process is time-consuming. Therefore the overall strategy must address these important challenges to deliver a flawless software application.