05 Sep 2019
11 Jun 20186 Recommendations for Driving Business Value from Test Automation
The rapid demand for IT organizations to deliver high-quality software at a progressively faster rate has necessitated the shift to agile development and DevOps methodologies. As applications under development become more complex in nature, continuously changing to include new technologies and feature sets, manual testing simply can’t keep up. This rapid shift is driving the need for test automation. Test Automation delivers strong benefits, such as:
– Elimination of human error that can occur with manual testing
– Shorter test cycle times, enabling shorter delivery times
– Improved regression coverage
– Improved resource utilization
– Consistent testing process
– Continuous testing
Irrespective of whether a traditional or agile development approach is applied, opting for test automation needs careful planning and an exhaustive understanding of the benefits it can deliver. Setting the right expectations for test automation can lead to creating a successful strategy whereas having unrealistic expectations can do the opposite.
Embarking on the journey of automated software testing requires the adoption of best practices such as behavior-driven development (BDD) and continuous integration and testing. These are key elements to improving the overall development process. When done well, the advantages of test automation are indisputable, but when done poorly, the disadvantages can be worse.
In this blog, we will identify the ways to drive value from Automation Testing.
The following recommendations will increase your possibility of succeeding in adopting test automation as an integral part of your testing approach.
1. Define a Clear Set of Goals
It is essential to define a simple but clear and balanced set of goals while automating tests. Test automation has been taken as a “magic bullet” that will reduce the cost of testing dramatically and is also assumed to offer 100% coverage. However, the main purpose of automation testing is to find defects early on and diminish quality risks by not allowing them to proliferate without the need for human intervention.
Defining a clear set of test automation goals allows the whole team to experience the benefits of automation. On the other hand, if automation is considered as another form of management control, it will not be effective. Therefore, it is important to list goals and develop an execution plan which leads to incremental improvement.
2. Don’t Automate Everything, Manual Testing Will Still Be Needed
While there are numerous benefits to test automation, automating every test might not be beneficial. For example, usability and exploratory testing require human intelligence and intervention, and do not explain an investment for automation.
Therefore, teams will need to leverage both manual and automated testing to ensure software quality before launching an application. Employing a mix-blend of the manual as well as automation testing can be the best way to succeed.
3. There is More to Automation Than Just Functional Testing at the GUI Level
Almost every team starts its automation effort with GUI functional tests, however as the components of the GUI tend to change regularly, they are costly to build, slow to implement, and delicate to maintain. Hence, to ensure that problems are discovered easily and rapidly, a blend of different testing levels and types is required in order to reach the anticipated level of quality and to alleviate the risks associated with defects.
Teams should not just think about automating GUI functional testing, but also various other types of tests, such as:
A clear test automation strategy should feature the amount of time your teams spend in each area. The prime focus should be on the highest-value tests, allowing you to establish a clear ROI.
4. Test Automation Requires Regular Maintenance
Poor practices yield tests that are hard to understand and maintain, and may produce failures which take time to research. As the application or system is modified, you need to evaluate the efficacy and effectiveness of each test constantly. New scripts must be written to bring out new features and directions. Teams have to write and maintain these tests. This truly helps to ensure that you are not building tests that will disrupt things as easily.
5. Choose Tools Matching Your Team’s Skills
Due to a large number of test automation solutions available on the market, the products available from various software companies often vary in terms of their focus and practical scope. No single solution from a solution provider will meet all of your testing needs. Therefore, it is important to select the right tools that take application targets into account, fit your team’s development practices, and also match the skills of your resources.
6. Define a clear test data management strategy
In order to test business-critical software, testing teams need to plan and retrieve the essential test data, as well as the activities associated with it. Unavailability of the required data can have a severe impact on the software testing activity and can result in inadequate testing coverage. Test Data is something which constantly gets refreshed and versioned after some time, having to be repeatedly referred to in order to evaluate the required outcome of an activity. If test data is not managed and maintained appropriately, it can cause delays in the testing and development process. Hence, it is important to have a clear test data management strategy in order to accelerate the application’s go-to-market speed and to eliminate business losses.
It can be established that automation testing results in cost reduction, as well as time/effort savings, consistency, quicker feedback, and results, thereby contributing to increased productivity and profits. Improved test automation with accurate testing techniques helps ensure that a shippable product is delivered at the end of every sprint.
TestingXperts’ Test Automation strategy enables organizations to increase release velocity and reduce time to market. TestingXperts has developed an extensible automation framework, ‘Tx-Automate’, which is modular, reusable, integrated and compatible. The framework helps to configure/create test suites by combining various automated tests and making those test suites available for execution. Connect with us to know more.