Manual Testing

The Right Tool For The Job

Even with test automation alternatives available, manual quality assurance is still a viable and valuable QA strategy. In fact, manual testing effectively balances the need for systematic review with the capacity for more thorough assessment of results, since live testers can take note of a broader scope of issues that might have otherwise been overlooked by automation alone. Manual testing can also be initiated with less lead time and lower initial expense.

Scenarios where manual testing may represent the best option include:

  • The required testing involves qualitative assessment, as in cases where usability must be critiqued, or products must be evaluated against acceptance criteria.
  • The tested application area is volatile and still under active development.
  • The tested functionality is minor and unworthy of excessive extra investment.
  • The required test is periodic in nature, and it need not be conducted too frequently.

Our QA team routinely helps customers to make informed decisions about the right quality assurance strategies. In scenarios where manual testing is selected as the best option, they work closely with the customer to plan and document appropriate test cases. This involves dissecting available SOW documentation, discovery findings, and backlog stories to finalize a detailed list of requirements that can be presented to the customer for approval, and then converted into operationalized definitions. These definitions in turn are translated into actionable tests.

We apply a systematic approach to all testing, starting with the most important, mission-critical aspects and then work our way outwards. This often means starting with a user’s “happy path” and working towards “fringe” cases.

 

TECHNOLOGIES

Over the years, we've worked with a number of test case management applications to get the most out of our QA engineers' time. Currently we use QAComplete from SmartBear to provide a transparent, scalable test management solution for our in-house projects.

Storing and executing test cases from a managed application like QAComplete allows us to track and report on metrics like:

  • Test case run times and run length.
  • Test run relation to defect history.
  • Test run relation to requirement history.
  • Failure vs success rates.
  • The configuration of the system under test (what operating system and/or web browser).
  • Automated test run history
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