Implementing Test Automation, the right way.

Contributed by Cigniti Technologies

The most sought-after outcome that organizations are looking for is quality at high speed. This outcome has become more of a necessity with the ever-changing market dynamics leading to fiercer competition and shortened customers lifecycle. Automation presents a practical as well as a viable way of fulfilling this dual need for quality and speed. There are several promising benefits of automating your tests and overall software development life cycle, including accelerated time-to-market, higher productivity, reduced costs, and better efficiency. However, it is important to get the implementation of test automation right for reaping these benefits. As a matter of fact, more organizations have failed than succeeded in their test automation efforts.

Before you take the plunge in your organization, you should follow these best practices to ensure a successful test automation implementation:

Begin with why

When test automation is supposed to bring all those benefits of shorter release cycles and better efficiency, why do organizations fail at reaping them? Wasn’t test automation supposed to be the ultimate cure-all elixir for the time-consuming and expensive manual testing – a magic potion to heal all the testing issues?

The answer to these questions is both Yes and No.

Yes, test automation is supposed to empower your organizations to perform faster and quality deliveries at much lower costs. But no, it cannot fix what is already broken. This means, that if your manual test cases, test data, test suite, and test environment were incapable of performing the Quality Assurance part effectively, then automation will just reflect those incapabilities in a really fast pace.

Before you get your automation wagon into gear, it is necessary to take a step back and find out WHY do you want to automate, WHY do you need test automation, WHY would automating tests would be able to do what manual tests could not. Having clarity of vision and objectives for test automation will help you develop an effective plan that will deliver the outcomes that you are hoping for.

Then go on to what

When you figure out the why part, the next step is to learn the ‘What’ of test automation in your organization. Understand what is it in your testing processes that you want to automate. And, automating everything is not the solution.

Ideally, you should automate those tests that are highly repetitive and are required to run for multiple builds. Tests that need multiple data sets, have a low risk tolerance, are very demanding in terms of hardware and software configurations, and require a great deal of manual testing efforts make for the suitable candidates for automation.

Additionally, also determine the type of tests that you want to automate – whether it is only unit tests and GUI tests, or functionality tests and others. It is highly critical for test automation to be successful that you carefully prioritize the tests that need to be automated. Otherwise, you might end up with a really fast testing cycle with no substantial results.

Talk about how

The next logical step is to figure out how will you automate. Choosing the right tool for automation is as important as choosing the right tests. You should pick a tool that supports your existing technology and platforms. If the selected tool is something that performs the job with the greatest efficiency and your team is already familiar with it – nothing better than that. The tool should be rich in features while allowing the testing team to create automated tests easily. It should be able to create automated tests that are reusable and easy to maintain. The automated tests should not fail if there is a change in the application’s UI.

Cigniti’s test automation methodology (and team) is well accustomed to Agile and DevOps environments ensuring consistent ROI during the entire software development lifecycle. Our test automation experts implement automated test suites with a focus on long term utilization of the suites.