Today in this era of Automation Testing, almost in every QA testing departments’ automation is the first preference. But there are few QA departments where 70-80% of testing is carried out manually. Indeed, there are cases where quality is completely determined manually as no automation is carried out there.
One of the crucial reasons of companies to continue with manual test is the inability of automation tools to cope with the changes that some application faces on regular basis. In certain cases, the only option left with QA is of manual testing.
Manual testing, the oldest form of testing, can be very laborious at times as it requires tester to be very patient, creative, innovative, open- minded, skilful. Manual tester should have out of box thinking and always think them to be in customer’s shoes while testing the application.
Exploratory testing, as a part of manual testing is the area where manual testers can analyze their capability to think out of box.
In case of thorough testing of application, manual testing plays a crucial role. During the initial development phase, smartness is to test the initial application developed manually rather than wasting time in writing test scripts.
While performing manual test for any web application, desktop application or say mobile application, a manual test engineer is said to be working more effectively when tester can identify many critical, severe errors in the application within a short period of time.
Such skill to think out of box is very important as often there is time limit for every software development projects and within limited time period it is necessary to ensure quality of the product/ application. “Time is Money”
Often it is seen that we run for different tools to increase the test efficiency of an automated scripts. There are many tools available also to support almost every scenario but the reality is there are still many cases where some test cases can’t or say should not be automated. Reality is, with Automation testing, many a times testers keep on struggling between test scripts, test data, different apps to analyze test reports, tracking defects,etc resulting or creating lots of opportunities for mistakes like entering wrong test data, missing some steps in test script, etc.
Much has been done to increase the efficiency of Automation Testing but in contrast little has been done to improve the effectiveness of Manual Testing.
Let us talk on few factors which can be considered for making manual test engineer’s work more productive and manual testing more effective.
Factors Making Manual Testing More Productive:
- Thorough review of Requirement document, understanding each implementation and modification is first and the foremost requirement/necessity before proceeding for functional testing.
- While preparing the test cases, more emphasis should be given to such areas where critical or major bugs could be found out. For example more emphasis should be given in areas where there is any integration to some other application or implementation of new feature, rather than, UI (User Interface) changes.
- Test cases must cover each and every detail for new implementation or modification describing every functionality.
- Priority of test cases can be set as per effectiveness on application so that in given less time limit at least only those test cases should be covered whose priority is high. Test case covering some minor UI changes can be skipped when there is less time as there is little or no effectiveness of such test cases on application.
- Test cases should be prepared such that every test data is mentioned clearly with expected test result corresponding every test case.
- As per the application requirement, cross browser functional testing should definitely be performed. Cross browser functional testing is testing application on different operating system with different browser combinations. Functionality may not differ but lots of UI errors are observed in cross browser functional testing.
- Sometimes previous project experience helps a lot in determining new test scenarios for understanding the application in different ways. Many a times such approach result in extra ordinary bugs which could not have been found out by normal test cases execution.
- Exploratory testing helps testers to use their thinking to take the application in the way customer might take.
- Testing application with every phase of development is the best practice as it can be cost effective as well as decrease the chances of finding severe bugs afterwards. Defects identified later are very expensive to fix than the defects identified at early stages of testing.
- Bug reporting should be such that it is clearly understood by the developer. Exact steps to reproduce should be given so that developers do not assume the scenario while fixing the defect. This will help in fixing of bug quickly.
- Proper Bug tracking tools like JIRA, Bugzilla, etc should be used to report issues.
Manual Testing Challenges
Manual testing is on one hand very error prone, time consuming and laborious, while on the other hand, there are multiple challenges faced while performing manual testing. Enlisted below are few:-
- Repetitive steps to be followed while test case execution.
- Manually enter large amount of data.
- Work with multiple screens and tools. Perform cross-browser testing.
- Much time consumption in writing test cases and managing test data.
- Time wastage while recreating/ reproducing the issues once observed.
- No track is maintained for test action performed while exploratory testing.
To attain both speed and quality, to increase effectiveness and efficiency of Manual testing, HP has introduced a manual software testing solution, known as, HP Sprinter, that speeds agile testing maximizing the impact of exploratory testing. HP Sprinter is often also referred as HP ALM/QC Sprinter.
Advantages of using HP ALM/QC Sprinter:
Key Features of HP ALM/QC Sprinter includes:
- Enhance and improve exploratory testing by better determining the reason of defect or test outcome.
- Deliver results faster
- Recording user action while performing test cases in detailed manner resulting in through test results.
- Eliminate repetition of test cases – Data Injection
- Running test cases simultaneously on multiple machines for increased coverage of different environment to determine application compatibility
- Mirror Testing- Test multiple environments at the same time.
- Increase in Productivity with defect resolved in faster rate.
HP Sprinter download: You can download the trial version of HP Sprinter on this page.
Watch a short HP Sprinter demo video here:
Detailed Steps to Run a Basic Test Using HP Sprinter
Let us understand with multiple screenshots “How a basic test is run” using HP Sprinter.
1) Hp Sprinter has two modes: ‘Plan’ and ‘Run’. Plan mode for test answering and Run for test execution.
(Note: Click on any image for enlarged view)
2) Now, to open a test in HP Sprinter, first of all click on ‘Open’ button present in left panel and then select ‘Open HP ALM test’ from the dropdown.
In this below example,’Order a flight’ Test is selected.
3) Next screenshot describes ‘Test workspace’ which provides access to the test details that contains all the information.
4) Test ‘Steps’ contains the design steps that are included in test.
5) We can add any manual test steps also by clicking on ‘Add’ button. As you can see in below screenshot, step 6 is added on clicking ‘Add’ button.
6) After writing the step description, a screen capture can also be added to the step.
7) Using test sprinter, we can automatically document test cases as we navigate through the application. Click on step capture to open application window.
8) Under Run tab, where test execution is done, all sprinter functionalities are available as side bars. Click on Run button to initialize the run.
9) Tabs around applications are available like: Tools, Macros, Scanners and Run Control.
10) Defect Reporting: Sprinter enables to create detailed and documented details in add defect scenario information (under Smart Defect tab)
11) When we submit a defect, Sprinter can add test steps to the defect description; can also attach screen capture or movie of a test to a defect.
12) Can also edit the screen capture to further clarify the defect or help in validating the major elements in user interface to the developers using tools.
13) Sprinter can also automatically detect defects, Under scanners, click on scan when we are about to scan for the defect.
14) Data Injection: Testing application that contains all forms of many input fields may become tedious, time consuming and error prone. Data injection automatically injects pre- defined data into the application. This leads to huge time saving in tedious manual testing activity.
15) When we click the inject button, data is automatically injected into the form as is displayed in the application.
16) Data mirroring: Test multiple environments at the same time. Provides huge value to the customers by localization, different backend configurations.
17 ) After that detailed Run Report is created. Report includes the Run summary, all the steps that have been performed, submitted defects, and all the actions performed.
18 ) Another way to review run results is Storyboard.
Sprinter is an easy to use desktop application, which increases speed of test case execution, cost reduction and improves productivity and ultimately helps in increasing the efficiency of manual testing.
Impact and effectiveness of exploratory testing is not only maximized by Sprinter but it also reduces time taken in completing test life cycle. It accelerates application delivery. Thus by including HP sprinter while performing manual testing for any application, manual test can be proved as a very efficient way of testing.
About the author: This is a guest post by Sushma S. She is having 4+ years of software testing experience and currently working as a Senior Software Test Engineer in a MNC. She is having expertise in QA processes and manual testing with timely delivery against aggressive deadlines.
Let us know if you have any queries on using HP Sprinter.