Manual Support Testing

What are the objectives of manual support testing ?
Manual support involves all the functions performed by people in preparing data for, and using data from, automated applications. The objectives of testing the manual support systems are:
  1. • Verify that the manual support procedures are documented and complete
  2. • Determine that manual support responsibility has been assigned.
  3. • Determine that the manual support people are adequately trained
  4. • Determine that the manual support and the automated segment are properly interfaced
How to Use Manual Support Testing ?

Manual testing involves the evaluation of the adequacy of the process and the execution of the process. The process itself can be evaluated in all segments of the systems development life cycle.

To test people processing requires testing the interface between people and the application system. That is entering the transactions, and then getting the results back from that processing, making additional actions based on the information received, until all aspects of the manual computer interface have been adequately tested.

The manual support testing should occur without the assistance of the systems personnel. The manual support group should operate using the training and procedures provided them by the systems personnel. But the systems personnel should evaluate the results to determine if the tests have been adequately performed.

What are the manual support test examples ?

The process of conducting manual support testing can include the following types of tests:
  1. Providing input personnel with the type of information they would normally receive from their customers and then have them transcribe that information and enter it into the computer.
  2. Output reports are prepared from the computer based on typical conditions, and the users are then asked to take the necessary action based on the information contained in computer reports.
  3. Users can be provided a series of test conditions and then asked to respond to those conditions. Conducted in this manner, manual support testing is like an examination in which the users are asked to obtain the answer from the procedures and manuals available to them.
When to use manual support testing ?

Extensive manual support testing is best done during the installation phase so that the clerical people do not become involved with the new system until immediately prior to its entry into operation. This avoids the confusion of knowing two systems and not being certain which rules to follow.

During the maintenance and operation phases, manual support testing may only involve providing people with instructions on the changes and then verifying with them through questioning that they properly understand the new procedures.(137.6)

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