How to Test Software Manually: 5 Crucial Best Practices

by René Ceelen, on December 13, 2022

With countless hours of development going into each of your software products, not performing sound software testing is a surefire way to sell your customers (and your own business) short.

How your software performs in terms of usability, security, and reliability can not only define how your customers view your brand, but also set your business apart from the competition. Testing your software gives your team a consistent, structured approach to find any bugs before your customers do and ensures your products meet customer expectations.

Manual testing is one of the most effective ways to perform the quality control your team needs to create products that knock it out of the park.

So how can your organization get the most out of manual testing? 

Keep reading to learn more about the five manual software testing best practices the TestMonitor team wants you to know.

Why Manual Testing Is Vital to Delivering Fit-For-Purpose Software

Manual testing is a software testing approach in which structured test cases are performed by hand, by quality assurance professionals or representative end users, against the in-development software. When used alongside automated testing—which uses its own software to run predefined, binary tests—manual testing can identify deviations from expected behaviors or outputs.

In addition to identifying defects that can take away from a smooth user experience, these software testing techniques can confirm that software is fit for purpose and will deliver customers the functionality they expect.

The 5 Manual Software Testing Best Practices Your Team Needs to Know

1. Have a method to track requirements from end to end.

Today’s software developers must balance numerous performance, security, usability, and functionality requirements to deliver the types of software their customers want and expect. 

An industry-leading test management tool helps your team efficiently capture and break down stakeholder expectations into measurable requirements that can be linked to test cases through to sign-off. 

2. Use a consistent, structured method to develop, sequence, and store test cases.

Test cases are the lifeblood of your software testing program. Test cases provide the instructions a tester can use to determine if a feature or function is present or if an input or output occurs as expected.

However, writing good test cases is not always an easy task. 

Identify a solution that helps your team consistently develop test cases that align with best practices, link them to form test runs, and store them for future use.

3. Prioritize collaboration and automation.

Testers today work across time zones, platforms, and teams. 

Ensure your test management software has the features your team needs to not only stay in contact and work collaboratively to run tests and resolve defects, but also minimize administrative steps that take away from the real work of quality assurance.

This means:

  • Automating simple, repetitive, or binary tests. 
  • Customizing user dashboards to streamline task management.
  • Simplifying the process of capturing test results.
  • Leveraging native test management tool functions to create and manage test runs.

4. Don’t overlook the essential testing types.

It can be tempting to bypass certain software tests, whether you seek to save time or demonstrate trust in your development team. However, some tests are too important to overlook. 

Instead, ensure that each software testing phase includes the necessary tests so your customers get the functionality and performance they expect. These can vary based on the purpose the software, but some of the most common include:

  • Black-box testing
  • White-box testing
  • Unit testing
  • Integration testing
  • System testing
  • Usability testing
  • User acceptance testing

5. Make tracking testing progress easy, visible, and constructive.

Testing isn’t the most glamorous element of software development. However, it’s one of the most essential, and stakeholders want to know how it is going.

Make it easy to share your team’s progress, test run performance, and test case coverage in real time with a platform that can generate the custom charts, tables, and reports needed to identify insights and problem areas.

Take Your Software Testing to the Next Level

With an already full plate, modifying your software testing approach can seem daunting.

However, TestMonitor makes it easy to integrate each of these best practices into how your team conducts software testing. From mastering requirements traceability to simplifying the capture of test results and everything in between, TestMonitor truly is designed by software testers, for software testers.

Ready to see how weaving these best practices and the TestMonitor test management tool into your workflow can improve your workflow and your bottom line? 

Then click here to fill out our ROI calculator now!


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