For some years now, more and more companies have started to implement test automation to increase the speed and efficiency of their software testing cycle. However, many organizations simply make an abrupt decision to automate and begin the process without having defined a strategy or plan first. In the majority of cases, this leads to failed automation projects.
Creating a test automation solution is not merely about choosing a tool you like or a popular tool and running testing scripts. Yes, these scripts may work at the time, and you may run tests successfully, but is it an efficient solution? Can it be maintained as you add more and more tests? Is this solution providing real value to the business?
Implementing a test automation project is an investment of time and money, and for this reason, before starting, you must answer a series of questions as part of your strategy. These answers will determine how to achieve the best results.
What? Who? How?
What do you want to achieve by automating tests?
It is crucial to know what you want to accomplish with test automation; therefore, it is necessary to analyze why you require automated testing before starting the process.
Answering this question will provide greater clarity regarding which steps to follow. Making decisions such as what tool to use, which tests to automate, or who should be involved in the testing process require a clear understanding of the goal you want to achieve.
Who will be in charge of the test automation process?
It’s clear that to automate testing, you must rely on someone who can create a testing structure, generate scripts, update scripts in case there are changes in the application, and monitor test results.
To achieve a testing structure, you must analyze if people on your team have the required skill set. When choosing a team member, you must ask: does he/she have enough time to handle manual tests and generate automation scripts? Depending on the answer, it might increase the time it takes to implement automated testing. If we pull people out of the manual testing team to focus 100% of their time on automated tests, can the rest of the team handle the workload?
A test automation project implies a considerable investment of time and skills. If it is treated as just another task that people can contribute to when they have spare time, you will not achieve the expected results in the established time.
Some organizations decide to hire someone temporarily to build the structure and create automated tests for their regression backlog; however, the latter only works provisionally. As work on the application advances, more and more regression tests will be created, and no one will be adding automated tests.
Another option is to assign a person permanently to work on test automation, ideally, a Test Automation Engineer. Someone with the necessary skills to take charge of the project 100% and proposes solutions to any challenges that may emerge.
Once your options are clear, you need to analyze and choose which approach will allow you to achieve your goal in the best way possible.
Once you have defined your objective and have established who will be leading the project, you can start to think about the execution of your strategy. For this, you must answer some questions:
Which tests will you automate? Will they be UI, mobile, API, or database tests?
Which tools should you use to facilitate the process and achieve your goal? You should also consider technologies and different types of frameworks that adapt to the project and the business model.
How will the tests be executed? Will they be run as part of a process of continuous integration (CI) development? Must they run in their own CI job? Or do you want to have someone in charge of running the tests only when necessary?
How do you want to visualize the results? What will happen when a test fails? Who should have access to the results?
The above are just some of the questions you should ask when deciding on test automation. You must take the time to answer these questions as they will make it easier to create an automated testing solution. It is vital to clearly understand that the efficiency and efficacy of your project will depend on following a proper planning and strategy process.
If you are looking for a software partner who will work towards your business goals and success, then Avantica is your solution. We offer dedicated teams, team augmentation, and individual projects to our clients. We are constantly looking for the best methodologies in order to give you the best results.