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Factors for Successful Test Automation

By Trent Colley | Senior Technical Test Consultant

INSIGHTS // Articles

14 Nov 2017

#Automation|#Solutions|#TestManagement

INSIGHTS // Articles

#Automation|#Solutions|#TestManagement

By Trent Colley

14 Nov 2017

Although test automation is becoming more prevalent, and the widespread adoption of open source tooling has drastically reduced costs, it can still be a hard sell to management. The best approach then is to attempt to maximise ROI and demonstrably return value as soon as possible.

Factors for Successful Test Automation

Start small

Start with small development of essential tests providing smoke test style coverage of your system’s highest priority areas. Execute these tests regularly, present this process to management to demonstrate value, and avoid over-committing and under-delivering.

Incorporate your automation into the development process

Look at ways to include your automation into the development process. If the organisation is using a continuous integration system, include executions of your fastest tests into the development build and deployment process to demonstrate the value and contribution to build quality.

Validate the quality of your results

Ensure your tests are not creating false positive or negative results. As soon automated test results are brought in to question, your developers will start to ignore them, negating their value.

Give your developers what they want

Your tests are providing development a service, so work directly with them to ensure you are giving them the tests they are interested in, and results in a format they can regularly digest. They should be the primary consumer of your results, so aim towards making your customer happy.

Provide rapid feedback

Investigate methods to provide rapid feedback from test executions. Most continuous integration systems provide the capability to send emails and/or SMS on failures.

Presentation of results

Managers love stats and graphs, so look into developing dashboards or regular reports to present your automation execution results in an attractive and informative fashion.

Investigate value adds

Look at ways to add additional value without excessive cost. This could involve incorporating parallel execution locally or shifting your cross-browser testing to the cloud to drastically increase coverage at minimal time and monetary cost.

Start automating today

Test automation has become not only beneficial but an essential part of building and releasing quality software, but less than a third of Australian organisations have integrated automation as a key part of their SDLC. As for the reason why, it’s because automation is hard to get right.

If you haven’t yet realised the full potential of test automation, visit our services section to see how we can help you realise the benefits today.

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