July 1, 2020

16 Tips to set up Automation

Automated Testing can provide a great Return on Investment (ROI). However, not all scripts are suitable for automation. Here are some top tips to help avoid falling into an automated testing mess.

  1. Budget
    Try to allocate a separate budget to the software automated testing solution. It should be considered its own project.
  2. All testing is not equal
    Don’t group Performance Testing Automation with Regression and Functional Automated Testing solutions. Even though both use automated test tools they require a very different skill set in application and should be budgeted separately. A case in point being test environments - a regression testing environment does not need to be scalable but a performance test environment does.  In some businesses this difference equates to millions of pounds.
  3. Measurable goals
    Produce a measurable test strategy that clearly measures goals and scope of the automated testing activities.
  4. Test tool comparison
    Ensure that you conduct test tool comparisons to verify that you get the best product to meet your requirements; the cheapest is not always the best value for money, neither is the most expensive necessarily the best option.
  5. Test tool demo against your system
    Do not assume the test tool demo conducted by a vendor against a system on their laptop will actually work on your system, it may well not.
  6. Resource availability
    Check the job market to verify the rates and availability for technical resource that specialise in a given test tool. It is quite often the case that an automated tool that is unknown and cheaper is more expensive due to a lack of qualified and experienced resources on the market.  This can result in a business being tied into a vendor’s expensive services solution.
  7. Tool price flexibility
    Don’t take a tool vendor's first price - most of them expect a haggle. If the price isn't negotiable, how about the support services or the licencing period?
  8. Independent evaluation
    If you are using a service provider to assist in automated test tool evaluations ensure that they are independent and can provide you with a neutral perspective during your evaluations.
  9. In-house not outsource
    Don’t start with outsourcing - start by implementing your own in-house solution.  Make it measurable, controllable and prove its ROI.  After you have made it work in-house you can then safely scale the process with outsourcing. Get them to follow your proven process which ensures you are always in control. The last thing you want is to be tied to a company without the ability to move your service requirements to other companies easily and efficiently.
  10. Automate or not to automate
    Don’t attempt to automate everything.  Automated testing should only be conducted against a sub set of functionality that will prove a ROI and focuses on real business cases.
  11. Automate or not to automate
    Don’t attempt to automate everything.  Automated testing should only be conducted against a sub set of functionality that will prove a ROI and focuses on real business cases.
  12. Hidden costs
    Remember every automated test script produced will always require maintenance and re scripting. When a test script is completed it generally stays stable for a short period of time. Typically every test script needs to be verified between code releases. This is one of the biggest hidden costs of automated testing.
  13. Map objects
    When using an automated functional testing tool ensure that your application's objects are mapped (GUImap or Object Map) this will help immeasurably to reduce recoding requirements and make maintenance easier and cheaper.
  14. Ongoing costs
    Automated testing is not a one-off development activity, it is an ongoing processes.  You can save time and money with automated testing through faster test cycles. However you will have to typically pay more for resources who specialise in a test tool and you will need them to continue their services in order to keep the automated testing process efficient.
  15. In-house training
    In-house resource can be trained in the use of automated testing tools, however, we would always recommend using experienced people involved in managing the technical process.
  16. Expert advice
    Get experts in test automation such as Testing Performance Ltd to help you produce a measurable and effective test strategy and to build your automated testing framework.
  17. Don't be tied down
    Part of the strategy should be to ensure that you are never tied to a service company and can move between companies or in-house testing solutions.

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July 1, 2020

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