In my team we have been working on a firmware for a product. The product was released some years ago but we still implement new features in the firmware and regularly provide a new firmware for our customers. Recently we have developed a new product which use the same firmware as the first one. Of course, we had to change the firmware to allow for some new capabilities (while still keeping functionality for existing product intact).
We have a release test specification which contans mostly manual tests which we carry out before we release any new software. We have adapted this for the new product since it has additional capabilities. But most of it is common.
I know that new products are in the pipeline and in my simplistic reasoning we need to repeat our release test for each product every time we release a firmware. So i am looking for a new approach which is less time consuming. One of the things we are already working on is automation, but due to the nature of the product many tests have to be manual.