It’s no secret that test automation comes with a wide array of benefits. For starters, it avoids constant manual labor in repetitive and mundane tasks and shortens the development cycle. Not to mention, it enhances the software quality to a great extent.
But if test automation is ‘Oh so beneficial’, how come its outcomes are sometimes compromised? Well, some QA teams have started thinking that automation is the Holy Grail and a shortcut to everything in the IT sector. But in reality, only a balance between automated and manual testing can yield improved test automation outcomes.
Of course, there are plenty of other parameters QA teams need to take into account to ensure test automation success. On that note, we are going to take a look at 5 key success factors for improving test automation outcomes. Let’s take a look.
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Choosing The Right Automation Tool
The choice of an automation tool can make or break a business. If you end up with a sub-optimal option, it won’t help bring the best face of your business forward. It can also cause losses in the form of efforts, automation opportunities, and licensing fees.
Before you even think about exploring test automation tools, it’s important to identify your core business requirements. After that, explore different tools and check out their capabilities. Most leading automation tools offer a trial version which you can avail to practically test out the tool and check whether it suits your requirement.
Merely creating a strategy or test automation plan won’t help you if you don’t have the proper tools to execute it. Opt for the one that already has high credibility and a trusted user base. It is viable to prefer one that facilitates selenium test automation on mobile as well as desktop browsers such as LambdaTest.
Another important factor to consider while choosing a test automation tool is how seamless the collaboration between team members is. Does it easily integrate with other tools you’re using? If yes, it’s worth a try. If no, move on to a better option.
Here are some key points to consider before selecting a test automation tool.
Does it offer support for the technology and platform you’re using? Do you require mobile application testing support? If yes, will you be working with both iOS and Android?
Is the tool you are about to opt for appropriate for testers belonging to different skill sets and skill levels? Is keyword testing mandatory or can your Quality assurance team directly start writing automated test scripts?
Does it create maintainable and reusable automated tests that are resistant to user interface changes in applications? If the UI undergoes changes, will the automated tests start breaking?
Does the tool easily integrate with the current ecosystem of your company?
Does it offer a good customer support service?
If the answer to most of these questions is yes, you can go ahead and add the tool offering these features into the list of possible options you can select from.
Know What to Automate and What Not to Automate
Before the beginning of a project, it’s vital to determine the scope of automation in detail. Some test cases you can easily automate include those that are tough to manually perform, are being executed repeatedly, and take up a lot of time.
You can also automate tests that have a higher scope of human errors, those that need multiple data sets, those causing high-risk situations, and tests that can run on different software or hardware configurations and platforms.
However, if the requirements keep on changing or it’s a newly designed test case, it’s better to leave them out of the automation scope. Trying to automate everything is simply impractical and next to impossible. The end goal here is to save time and effort. But if you end up automating the wrong test case, you increase costs and of course, team efforts.
Before you start automating, create a fool-proof plan. This approach helps in the identification of the initial test sets you should automate. Later, you can use it as a guide for automating tests in the future. This should always align with your automation testing goal.
A great method is to create multiple automated tests that are simple so that you can group them all later into one enormous automated test. When you add small tests addressing new functionalities, you can keep on updating the automated tests.
Monitoring and Reducing The Time Taken for Test Automation
The ‘time is money’ Mantra applies to almost everything. One of the primary objectives of test automation is to reduce testing time. But finding bugs can hog up countless hours especially when you have to fix them and repeat the entire process all over again.
The set-up, execution, and maintenance of automated tests can take longer than manual counterparts. One way is to use automated tasks for simplifying routine actions including restarts and cleaning temp files. You can also automate patch management to make sure that the clients’ machines possess ample system stability and are updated with the recent software patches.
A great way to determine the success of test automation is by measuring metrics. You can accomplish this by comparing automation efforts with manual efforts by taking parameters like productivity enhancement and the percentage of defects detected into account. This also justifies investments in test automation solutions.
For starters, take a look at annual costs saved along with a reduction in the number of hours of labor. Some other things to consider include defect reduction, time-to-market, and SAP transport impact.
Divide Automated Testing Tasks on The Basis of Skills
Every individual in the IT sector has his or her technical expertise. They perform best when they are assigned test cases and suites according to their skill set. Therefore, it is essential to identify your team members’ skills and experience levels before assigning them different responsibilities.
For instance, if the test needs the execution of a proprietary tool, team members of different levels of skills can easily create test scripts. But using an open-source tool can complicate things as it might require coding expertise for that particular tool.
In other words, some know-how of scripting languages is a must to write automated test scripts. For performing such tasks, QA engineers knowing that specific script language is a must.
On the other hand, some QA engineers might not be experts when it comes to writing various automated test scripts. But they might excel and write excellent test cases. A useful alternative to automated test scripts is keyword tests. Even non-technical users can use them to create powerful and robust automated tests.
Create High-Quality Test Data and Remove Uncertainty
Data-driven testing is nothing without high-quality test data. Right it automation testing tool understand the data file content and it rates over them in an automated test. You can enhance the usability and ease of maintenance of your automated tests by utilizing external data.
This way, you can easily add a variety of testing scenarios since extending data files with new data won’t be a hassle even if you don’t end up editing the actual automated test.
Creating well-structured data might sound boring but it’s inevitably one of the most important steps in test automation. The use of writing automated tests can be credited to the availability of good test data. It also makes it easier to extend the current automated tests as the application develops.
Another major goal of test automation is achieving consistent test results. Inconsistencies and false positives and negatives can spike up the time needed for the analysis of errors. But it’s possible to eliminate this uncertainty by getting rid of unstable tests along with outdated ones. Make sure all tests are up to date every time.
Test automation is a pretty hyped buzzword people perceive as something that will totally eliminate manual efforts. Of course, it’s far from the truth. In fact, we have already learned above that it takes a combination of various factors for improving test automation outcomes. As long as you take them all into account and adopt the necessary measures to strengthen your automated testing process, you can easily release your products on time, save money and test faster.