5 Steps to Transition from Manual to Automation Testing

From designing a strategy to picking the right solutions, here are 5 steps to help you transition from manual to automation testing successfully:

Automated tests can minimize regression bugs and overcome lots of manual testing challenges, enabling teams to deliver more qualified applications. That’s why many teams are making the jump from manual to automated testing. However, transitioning is not an easy task that can happen overnight.

From designing a strategy, and acquiring the necessary knowledge and skillsets, to picking the right testing tools, this blog explains everything your team needs to prepare for a successful transition from manual testing to test automation.

Let us begin!!

Manual To Automation Testing

Transition From Manual To Automation Testing

Manual Testing vs Automated Testing: The Main Difference

The most basic difference between manual and automated testing is who or what handles the test execution.

Manual to Automated Testing - Banner

For manual testing, it’s all about human work. Testers manually carry out all the test steps by themselves to find bugs before the application is released.

Meanwhile, for automated testing, testers write scripts to automate test steps via automation tools. Test automation allows testers to store test scripts as assets for reuse, which saves lots of time and effort for repetitive executions.

Why Should We Switch From Manual To Automation Testing

Test automation can overcome a lot of manual testing challenges, especially in Agile projects.

#1) Test Reusability

Automated test cases and test suites can be reused multiple times in different test cycles and test environments. So, every time an application changes, you can run automated regression test suites to check regression bugs, avoiding doing regression tests manually and repeatedly. This is one of the most important advantages of automation to reduce the risks of operational failures.

#2) Higher Test Coverage

Since tests are executed automatically, you have more time to focus on new scenarios and write more automated test cases to verify and validate the Application Under Test (AUT). Feel free to do more exploratory testing to ensure product quality.

Automated tests can also be executed simultaneously or in parallel on different platforms and devices. More executed tests mean more regression bugs are likely to be found and more business requirements are confirmed.

#3) Earlier Feedback and Bug Detection

Bugs escaping into production are more costly to fix, in terms of time, money, and effort. That’s why teams are shifting left, spotting bugs earlier to minimize the cost.

If done correctly, automated testing can start as soon as the development phase begins. Developers can perform unit tests on their local machines before committing code to the version control system.

Unit tests can also be integrated into the CI pipeline. Once code is committed, the pipeline is triggered to run automated unit tests, then integration and/or system tests. This way, developers can receive early feedback and detect and fix bugs quicker, preventing them from sneaking into later stages.

#4) Going Beyond Manual Testing

Test automation can do what manual testing might hardly achieve, especially for specific tests that require lots of effort and resources like performance testing. It can simulate thousands of simultaneous requests to the AUT’s server-side, from different platforms and devices, which is nearly impossible to do manually.

Automation tools work faster than humans, in terms of parallel execution, with higher accuracy. Machines don’t get bored or exhausted like humans, hence, they can avoid human-like mistakes. Consequently, the test results are reliable and fast to receive.

NOTE: One thing you should keep in mind is that test automation works in the long run. The initial cost is rather significant, and it takes time to set up, put everything in place, bring visible results, and lower the cost-benefit ratio.

So, we recommend consider your team’s situation carefully. It’s not always wise to move from manual to automated testing. Test automation may not be worth investing in if your team:

  • Takes on short-term projects.
  • Develops simple applications which can be done within 4 – 6 months.
  • Do not run tests frequently.
  • Test many complex scenarios that are easier to execute manually.

Transition From Manual to Automation Testing With Confidence

#1) Design Test Automation Strategy

Many teams usually struggle because they don’t have a goal-oriented test automation strategy. This will keep all 0000000ppteam members on the same page. It informs and communicates the pre-defined goals and plans, from which everyone can learn whether what they do is right or wrong and adjust the next actions.

Without a clear-vision strategy, teams can easily change directions, choose the wrong solutions, and fail to use test automation in a way that contributes to business value.

Here’s a good way to look at it: Test automation is like building and having your own software to test other applications. It should be managed with a clear vision and plans in the same manner as software development.

>> Learn for free the 10 steps to draft a high-quality plan for your team.

#2) Enrich Test Automation Foundation

It’s essential to understand all the basics of test automation, from Agile and DevOps methodologies, framework building, automation pyramid, architecture, and automating methods, to reporting and metrics. Without a good foundation, teams can hardly execute their strategies.

Moreover, you should also inspect particular automation solutions or testing tools, what skills they require, what problems they solve, and how they do it in practice. Keep your learning process non-stop.

Many teams just stop updating their knowledge base after a while. As the industry is evolving fast with new technologies, new trends, and new solutions, stopping learning and training can only mean falling behind your competitors.

Among countless online resources, testing courses are something you should invest in. They demonstrate how automation solutions work in practice, which is instructed by experienced professionals.

Some reliable and popular sources include:

  • Katalon Academy: A free platform to learn and test automation foundation, job-ready skills, and how to implement Katalon products into real projects
  • Udemy: A popular educational marketplace where you can learn a wide range of topics, from basic to advanced, guided by industry experts
  • Coursera: A learning platform for you to learn to test knowledge and gain hands-on experience through guided projects

>> Find out more useful resources to learn test automation online.

#3) Advanced Programming Skills

Many test automation solutions require programming skills to build a framework and write automated test scripts. To overcome these roadblocks, many teams aim for ready-made testing tools that are equipped with low-code features.

However, without programming skills, testers can only use built-in keywords, record, and playback features, or manual mode with intuitive UI to create automated tests. But things will not stay simple forever.

In the long run, to write more complex test cases, modify scripts, build custom keywords, maintain tests, or debug a failed test, there should be at least one automation tester in your team who is familiar with coding and programming or a developer to support it.

If your team wants to switch from manual to automated testing, consider hiring testers with a programming background or getting the team members to learn and advance their coding skills.

#4) Evaluate and Choose the Best Fit Testing Tool

Tool selection can be very tricky since there are thousands of available options on the market. Many teams choose their tool solely based on others’ success. But one tool that works well for others does not necessarily mean it does the same for your team.

Consider your team’s specific needs and resources. That said, here are some questions to evaluate and choose the best-fit solution:

  • What are you trying to solve? Determine the AUT that you want to apply for automated testing (web, desktop, or mobile applications) and the functionalities that you need (for test creation, execution, reporting, etc.)
  • Who’s going to use the tool? If they are manual testers, a low-code solution would be more appropriate.
  • Can it fit into your team’s existing pipeline and toolchain? Look for automation tools with native integrations to reduce the time for workarounds.
  • Is it future-proofing? To avoid shifting from one tool to another, consider your team’s scalability and choose a tool that can meet future demands.
  • What’s your budget? Open sources are free but take time to set up and develop a test automation tool, while commercial tools are fast to start and easy to use.
  • Where can you get support? Good customer support or an active community can really help and save you time when dealing with technical issues.

Tips: From a manual starting point, it’d be better to go for a ready-made tool that has both low-code and scripting options like Katalon Studio. It will save you plenty of time, it is the most stressful part of starting test automation.

With low-code features like Record and Playback, manual testers can quickly start automating test cases and capturing test objects. Later on, when having more coding experience, they can move on to writing test scripts, building more custom keywords, and utilizing more advanced features.

After selecting a tool, remember to do a proof of concept. Run a quick sprint on the tool and get all the team members involved. At the end of the sprint, gather all the feedback and evaluate if the tool can meet all the standard demands of your team.

#5) Start Small and Scale With Confidence

Don’t get delayed on your transition by going too ambitious or complicating things. You don’t need to have a strategy document that has 50 pages with too many goals, plans, and information.

Start with specific small goals with small projects, like reaching a certain automated test case within a timeframe. Keep your mistakes small, learn from them, and gradually expand the scale of your team’s test automation.


Moving from manual to test automation can be a difficult long-term process. Uncareful planning, lack of required skill sets, and unfit solutions are some of the most common root causes making teams struggle.

That’s why we wrote this blog – to give you the guiding steps, and a foundation to avoid the same mistakes and transition successfully for your team. Get your strategy ready, involve all members in the test automation learning process, do a proof-of-concept on your tools, start with small projects, evaluate the results and adjust your plan if needed.

Good luck with your test automation journey!

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8 thoughts on “5 Steps to Transition from Manual to Automation Testing”

  1. Bhoat accha

  2. This is mind blowing, thanks for sharing.

  3. Nice article. Very informative. Thank you for sharing this information with us.

  4. Hi , which course do you suggest to start progression from manual to automation testing please . thanks in advance

  5. don’t use the terms manual and automated testing. It doesn’t exist. We also don’t have manual and automated development. (what James Bach and Michael Bolton indicate)
    When you test you need to use your brain and eyes. I prefer to use exploratory testing. If you follow a test script exactly or executing an automatic script, it’s checking.

    Automatic checking is useful to validate that the test case is still giving the exact same result when it was designed. This give testers time to find bugs, using exploratory testing in or risk areas, which aren’t covered by automation

  6. very interesting

  7. nice book


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