Test Manager taking on first automation tester - how to best manage the

Angela Carne's picture
Angela Carne asked on August 3, 2016 - 10:12am | Replies (8).


I have been a test manager for a small IT company for a few years, with a team manual testers. I am also from a manual testing background. My company has just hired our first automation tester, however I need to be able to communicate with him about his work in order to effectively manage expectations for both him and the business.

Where do I begin with this? What can I learn to help him and myself?

Many thanks!

8 Answers

Juan Pablo Aguirre's picture

Hi. I think that you should allign manual testing with automation. The best way to take the besty of an automation team, is to ask the manual team what would need to be automated, in order to save them some work. For example, maybe they need to test a new feature and to get there, they repeat the same steps over and over again, knowing that it works correctly. You shouldfirst of all have a meeting with the manual team, asking them what they consider should be automated. For example, if you need to assign a certain amounts of permissions to a user to test a new feature, but you know that the permission assigment is working, then that is candidate for automation. The manual team tells the automator: "Hey, I need you to automate that". That way, every time the manual team needs that configuration, instead of doing it MANUALLY, they will ask the automator to run a script to continue with their manual testing.

That way, the automator will be useful for the manual team. The goal is to automate as much as they can. That does not mean that manual testing will not be done. Not at all. Automation is a CHECKING which is used mainly for tasks that have already been tested manually many times

Carol Ralph's picture

In my experience both as an automation tester and a manual tester I would say it is important for you as a manager to know the tools that will be used to create the automation.

It is also important that the automater be included in project discussions early on so that an overall automation strategy can be created and specific automation tasks assigned. Decising what to automate should be done as a team. Input from representatives on the business operations side assist in determining the critical business processes. Developers can help determine the complexity involved in creating automation for specific tasks. With that information in hand the team can weigh Risk / Reward to select the right test cases to automate.


Pavan Gudla's picture

Hi Angila,

To begin with the new automation resource you can get started as below sequence.

1. Give the automation engineer all the details of you application and perform POC(Proof of concept) on that application. Since you have mentioned a small company...maybe you would like to start with open source tools like Selenium etc..

2. Once POC is successful and tool is identified have a demo with the project team to about your POC results for additional inputs.

3. Then decide on the framework and get buy in from all parties involved.

3. Then you work with the engineer with respect to any infrastructure requirements and facilitate them and you start having look at that tool and most of the tools are quick to grasp and this would help give proper direction to the engineer.

4. Then I recommend to have a road map...Start with Build verification tests or Smoke tests, then Regression with dates.  Some of the notes for deciding the road map.

  a. Always utilize the scripts effectively on every build

  b. Automation should consider multiple environments like qa, pre-prod, training etc. and have data set up accordingly

  c. I recommend using dedicated users for automation scripts to eradicate dependencies

  d. Learn from the velocity and adjust plan accordingly

  e. Follow with decent standards so that the scripts could be understood even for a different engineer in future.

  f. Always keep in mind the maintenance of the scripts before providing estimates

5. Lastly Keep posted all stake holders with respect to this and publish results updates on regular basis as this need support from every one.

As I would like to be short, This would be at high level but I could help answering specific question in detail.

Thanks for asking a good question on the forum.







Pam Laura's picture
Pam Laura replied on August 24, 2016 - 8:49pm.

Also, I saw some potentially helpful articles right here on this website under the Topics section!

Tamara Tairi's picture


To get the best results from automated or manual testing requires a good organization tool that allows you to control and monitor testing activity on a real time interface tailored to your specific goals and objectives. It's a good idea to outline an Agile process and set forth a plan in due time if possible, but in a crunch, having access to templates for your Testing needs really helps too. Of course, it depends on the environment and IOT relationships. I really like the Zephyr products, as my background is also in manual testing. It's amazing to have set controls and a wealth of knowledge in addition to my years of experience. It sets the standard and gets the ground running for exponential growth. Take a look at the IOT article on the Zephyr page here, 



Lee Calladine's picture

Hi Angela,

I have personally been in this situation before, but whilst I am comfirtable discussing automation strategies and technologies I was aware that most of my team were not. I assume your automation resource is a lead or senior position?

Firstly I would hold a whole team brainstorming session to ensure the new resource gets an overview of the systems under test and then also get a better working relationship with the team. This type of meeting I have found usually allows the people who want change to speak up and those that are simply willing to follow take a step back, so also good for reviewing the team. The automation resource will want to make their mark as the first automation resource ever, and being new they will have lots of ideas and these ideas can help the rest of the team question and understand. Be aware that the team may not ask questions so it may be left to you to prompt questions if faces look a little blank at times.

From this meeting you need to create an action list to involve the entire team to embed the automation into the existing test strategy to show the benefits of this approach and also open up the playing field for manual testers to upskill to automation or at least broaden their view of testing.

Hope this helps

Mark Bentsen's picture

Give us an update Angela! What feedback has been the most helpful and what have you learned?

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