Making a success of Test Automation

Slide 15 of 15

Making a success of Test Automation

"Automating a chaos, results in automated chaos"
Many attempts at software test automation fail because the groundwork is not carried out. Six steps that are needed to succeed are:
1. Define your Test Strategy
Don't use tools if you don't know the test strategy! Automating testing tasks without knowing the needed test coverage is a waste of time and money. So, start thinking in (business) risks, develop the test strategy and implement a test process per phase to get the needed coverage. TMap NEXT describes the activities for creating this test strategy and control it using a Mastertestplan.
2. Recognise that test automation is not automated software testing but computer-assisted testing
Test automation may provide test execution elements, however what other ways could computers help testing. For example: test management, test design, test data generation; installations; file/database comparisons and analysing test results.
3. Decide what your automated test goal is (and re-evaluate your test mission as it may change)
-Efficiency (reducing testing costs, reducing the time in the testing phase, automating regression tests or improving test coverage).
-Service (tightening build schedules, preventing destabilization, playing to computer and human strengths and increasing management/customer confidence in the product).
-Extended testing reach (api based testing, component testing, model based tests, data driven tests and internal monitoring & control)
-Multiplying resources (platform testing, configuration testing, model based tests and data driven tests)
4. Recognise that Test Automation scripting is akin to development and programming
When embarking on the use of scripted test tools the same practices used in software development apply. This includes code standards and reviews.
5. Decide on the right tools
There are many automated testing tools that can aid testing from excel spreadsheets to Code analysers to Model-Based Testing. The key here is to find tools that are right for your environment and objectives.
6. Decide who will perform the automation and use the tools
It is critical to decide who is going to use/and or create the tools. Don't treat test automation as a part time project. Allocate dedicated individuals time so they can provide real value. Overall when preparing a test automation strategy, plan to achieve small successes and grow.
(original source: Marvin Niven; added, free interpreted and summarized by Rob Kuijt)
See also COVER overview