we can also keep testers from falling off the cliff by not over-specifying the test cases we do choose to include in every manual regression run. Since testers are more than animated poking sticks , we can assume that they know something about the product area they are testing, they can figure out minor details and intents, and they can form and ask questions, if needed. Indicating the intent of a test rather than specifying each and every step makes the tests more maintainable and, again, utilizes the tester's mind—creativity, experience, and intelligence.
If you have bloated regression test suites and you’d like to increase the cognitive input of your test team, start by paring down the details in your existing regression test cases. Consider what value tests have that only confirm well-known details. Judge whether or not steps that were copied and pasted across multiple test cases really need to be in that many artifacts.
Next time you do a manual regression run, see how many tests were not run. Are these tests really worth keeping? Will they ever deliver any real value? What will you do with your answers—delete tests or spend more time regression testing next time?