What is a manual testing campaign?

What is a manual testing campaign?

For software testing, a manual testing campaign is the execution of a set of test cases over a specified period of time. It allows to check the correct functioning of the software or the web/mobile application.
First of all, a test campaign brings together several participants:

  • The client: the publisher of the website (or mobile application) via its business teams such as marketing, digital, IT, or support functions.
  • The developers of the product to be tested, a team that may be internal or external to the publisher.
  • The testers: internal or external (nearshore/offshore)

A manual testing campaign consists of 5 essential steps. For it to be effective, it is imperative to carry out all of them.

1. Reception

The testers receive from the client the documents to write the test cases. The test leader will be able to produce an initial estimate of the time required to design and execute the test campaign.

At this stage, the expected documents are user stories, functional specifications, graphical mock-ups… or any other document allowing us to understand the business operation of the application. Having good documentation allows us to write robust, efficient, and complete test cases. Moreover, reading these elements from an external viewpoint often allows you to find inconsistencies, omissions, or flaws in the writing of the requirement. The exchange with the customer is essential. The more the client’s business teams are available, the better the test campaign will be carried out.

2. Design

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

In this step, the testers design the test cases. That is the transcription of the specifications into a subset consisting of actions to be performed, the necessary data sets, and the expected result. The resulting library of test cases allows you to create test plans to be run in the next test campaign based on developer deliveries.

Finally, each test case must be associated with a priority. The prioritization of tests allows managing the test effort according to the customer’s requirements (time, budget). Depending on the project, a good practice is to write the test cases in a web-based test repository tool like Testlink, Squash TM, or one of the many JIRA plugins.

3. Implementation

Now that the test cases have been written and prioritized, and before starting to run the test cases, the tester must make sure that everything is in place. The steps performed are as follows:

  • Defining the test plan,
  • Checking the availability of data sets,
  • Checking the availability of the test environment,
  • Selecting the configurations panel (1 device, 1 OS, 1 browser).

Of course, the implementation, including the test plan, must be validated by the customer before starting the manual testing campaign.

4. Run

The testers run the test cases according to the test plan and the configurations defined with the customer. The anomalies detected are :

  • Replayed to avoid false positives
  • Documented with at least a summary, the steps to reproduce the bug, the screenshots, the environment and the impacted configurations.
  • Filled in the client’s bug tracker (Jira, Mantis, Redmine, Excel, Google Doc…).

The testers participate in the regular review of anomalies (Daily Triage Meeting) with the client and the developers to validate or complete them if necessary.

⚠️Beware a bug isn’t always a defect in the code. It can concern a failure in the specifications, a misunderstanding during the design of the test case, or a problem in the data sets. The meeting to sort out the anomalies is therefore crucial for a quick resolution.

5. Status report

In the final phase of the test campaign, the testers provide the client with a report giving him a global view of the campaign. The report gives an overview of the test campaign. It allows decision-makers to have a confidence index on the quality of the developments and to be able to take the decision to deploy the delivery or not. A report can contain, but is not limited to, the following information:

  • The breakdown of anomalies according to severity and criticality,
  • Time passed,
  • The percentage of abnormalities in relation to the number of test cases,
  • The distribution of anomalies between functional and ergonomic,
  • A synthesis with the points of vigilance.

A test campaign is a global process from preparation to reporting to the client. It requires elements and also the availability of the customer. Testing Studio accompanies you throughout this process.

A good test campaign is prepared beforehand!

Written by
Xavier Brice
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