Although the adoption effort is worth it, the difficulty to adopt new software, methods, and tools exist in parallel. Automated testing and relevant tools in particular, help you save time and resources, and maintain high-quality software.
But you should not adopt test automation without having a clear plan, you need a robust strategy in hand. This article discusses how to create a powerful test automation strategy that helps you optimize your product entirely before it reaches end-users.
What Happens if I Don’t Have a Strategy for Test Automation?
Many beginners get confused about whether they should have a test automation strategy or not. In fact, testing activities without test automation strategies will introduce the following issues.
The failure of showing business value:
- Teams usually do not define business reasons for implementing new test automation or other solutions. The tech is actually cool and is helpful for your business – yes. But without identifying and demonstrating the true business value or ROI, your project will potentially be canceled, and even be rejected.
Lack of vision:
- An action plan or a clearly-defined vision is your living document to fall back to in the worst scenario. In fact, automation projects are prone to pivoting. You may need to adopt a new test automation framework or the existing under-the-hood technology. Besides, you should define your original vision to avoid delaying or canceling the project from the slightest problem.
The loss of technology effectiveness:
- If your test automation strategy is unclear, choosing an unfitting testing automation tool and experiencing technology efficiency losses are very common. So, consider the current toolstack your team is using and make sure the new tool will work well with the rest.
Not setting the “testing squeeze” coming:
- We expect Agile development processes to eliminate testing squeezes, but it is challenging. They are still happening in software development, knowing which test to cut requires a test automation strategy.
What Does a Test Automation Strategy Mean?
An automation testing strategy is a “subset” of a testing strategy. It means your test automation strategies use the same techniques, data points, and processes as you’d use for system and performance testing. At its core, a test automation strategy helps identify the roles and responsibilities of testers, developers, and users.
Why you should have a Test Automation Strategy? Top 4 Benefits
- It is a reliable and repeatable process to help show the risk, capabilities, and functionality.
- It helps you to showcase how well your goals and plans go together.
- It allows insightful brainstorming sessions that might raise a worthy technology to try out.
- It lets you compare your previous plans with what you’ve achieved.
What Does a Test Automation Strategy Look Like?
You can create any format for your automation testing strategies. In fact, a mind map is a good way for producing ideas or rough sketches, which can turn into a bigger test automation strategy.
How Do I Create an Automation Testing Strategy?
Step 1: Understand your high business value tests
List out the “high business value” tests to know which to prioritize. Knight Capital Group is an example of not researching their high business value test, so they lost $485 million in just 45 minutes. As such, understanding your high business value tests is really important because it helps you define the true solution for critical scenarios. Besides, a true business value also helps your automation framework connect with the ROI nicely.
Step 2: Determine testing priority with a risk-based approach
Use a risk-based approach to list the things that have the highest and lowest impact on your business. Start with the things that have the highest failure probability, then end with the lowest ones. Conveniently, this will also support your testing squeeze in the future.
Step 3: Define your technology, tools, and resources
Does your test automation tool support the browsers and devices you need to test on? Are the open-source libraries and frameworks used for the right type of testing? Find out the right accounts and environmental access, identify the proper libraries and APIs to create more stable tests.
Recommended: How to Select Automation Testing Tools?
Step 4: Know what your data is saying
Data failures are the reason why many test automation projects could not succeed. Without ensuring the proper data right at the start of adopting another script in your automation framework, you waste hours rewriting or redoing your tests. Therefore, you should delve deeper into handling and storing your data, define your data source, understand the retry logic, and whether you have to take care of masking or de-identifying data.
Step 5: The role of DevSecOps
Jenkin servers and other build-and-deploy tools play a vital role in a testing automation strategy. You also need to define where to store your codes and how they can be deployed, how safe the environments you’re running your codes are upon, etc. Besides, establishing a security scanning process for your automation testing framework is worthwhile.
Step 6: Track your testing environment
Understanding the source of your code and documenting it are important. Track and document everything that belongs to your test environment, such as the role of tokens or VPNs and the benefits of a launch box, and more. As a result, your clean test environment helps you have a better onboarding process for new testers.
Step 7: Apply tags to your tests
It is essential to tag your tests and group them logically. Consistent tagging practices and updates of the most commonly used tags give you a clearer picture of what your tests are about and minimize the effort of determining which tests to run first.
Step 8: Identify the efficiency of testing
The more testing you do, the more areas you can apply the same testing logic. It helps you create efficiencies and remove testing time and resources. As such, you do not need many people to do the same thing in your testing project. In short, understanding your testing automation strategy, from unit to UI tests, helps you save much time.
Step 9: Embrace Agile and DevOps tools
GitHub or other cloud-based tools are widely used in DevOps teams for quality-at-speed deliveries. As for the Agile methodology, having in-sprint check-ins or micro-strategy sessions are proven ways to assure that your visions and goals still align.
Check out this video to get more tips about Test Automation Strategy.
- Goals and communication are the two vital elements you should target to accomplish with your test automation strategy.
- Do not take too much time to define the format of your automation framework. Just pick one that your team considers to be the most effective.
- When a testing squeeze appears, your firm testing strategy will back you up against business partners and other co-workers. They will trust your decision to pick which tests to remove.
- Your test automation strategy is pretty much the groundwork to choose the right technologies, as well as drive innovation and growth.