Automated testing, certainly, has its pros and is able to complement manual testing. But for any organization, program or project, it is essential to evaluate and counterbalance the two on a continuous basis. Automated, manual or the combination of both, the informed decision can certainly be derived by certain key factors. Here are some of them.
It is one of the key factors that drives the informed decision of undertaking automated testing versus manual testing. Automation is no magic, it simply requires particular skill set, tools, budget, effort, and time. There are many good ROI for investing if there is high rate of reusability of the automated test scripts on a continuous testing platform. Hence, the project that has multiple runs of the same test cases or that needs regression tests at consistent intervals which are deemed the best candidates for automation.
Automation testers, tools, frameworks, training, and maintenance add up to mainly contribute in project costs. A test manager or lead has to measure this additional cost against the possible advantages. For instance, a short term project or minor alteration doesn’t require any automation. In such a case, manual testing is cost efficient and adds equal value like automation does.
Another key fact that helps in making this informed decision between automated and manual testing is the scale, size and kind of project. Automated testing is helpful when there are many data driven tests where similar tests are required to be run for a different set of data. Sometimes there is also a multi-browser test involved. Whereas, a project that is highly GUI oriented or lays importance on the customer experience, manual tests are applicable in this case and is cost effective as well. If there is a large project where too many testers are involved, in both front end and back end, you can apply a combination of both automation and manual testing.
The test manager will need to ask the question that does investing on automated testing adds value to the project and saves time and effort, or not? If it does, then it’s a go. If not, then, it’s not worth it. in different projects, adding value means different things like unleashing the hidden bugs, the bugs which were discovered earlier in the test cycle in lesser time, rapid retests and fewer resources needed to test or just making the life of the manual testers easier.