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How to Improve the Effectiveness of Test Automation in Agile? 


The growth spurt in the software testing market has coincided with the increased adoption of automated testing methodologies. A study by Global Market Insights suggests that the testing market will grow at a 7% CAGR between 2021 and 2027, with the 2020 US$ 40 billion value as the base. A significant driver of this growth is ‘rising adoption of agile development environment for Quality Assurance and testing,’ the report said. Since agile development also requires agile testing, organizations have realized that test automation is the way to go. But that’s not to say that test automation in agile has no challenges. Agile projects undergo rapid changes frequently while also needing adequate test coverage in a limited timeframe. These challenges can be overcome by following a few key steps to organize agile testing efficiently. 

Best practices for test automation in agile 

While automated testing gives the best ROI on stable software, agile projects are dynamic and free-flowing. Combining the two to complement each other is a value proposition. Here are a few best practices to keep in mind before you jump into test automation in agile projects. 

Plan while implementing agile testing 

Agile projects are built on shared responsibility and collaboration between the developers and testers. Both teams must remain proactive in their communication and maintain transparency to aid testing. 

This step also includes laying out a detailed test automation strategy in agile. Since agile is a lean process with short, rapid sprints, testers must finish all the testing within the stipulated timeline. Without having a strategy at hand that outlines your test automation tools, frameworks, platforms, and environments, the testing phase could cause inadvertent delays. 

Carefully choose which test cases to automate  

One of the most common mistakes that organizations make while adopting test automation in agile is to try and automate every test. This is a flawed approach that can potentially affect your ROI. Not all tests are meant to be automated. 

Agile projects deal with fragile code bases that undergo frequent changes. This instability makes test automation a costly affair. Focus on automating fixed or stable tests. Regression testing is a lengthy, tedious process, and automation will make this faster and more efficient. 

Other great candidates for automation could be API tests, functional tests, and tests behind the GUI. 

Exploratory tests and UI tests should remain manual.

Conduct parallel testing 

Agile requires speed and the best way to quicken the testing pace is by using the parallel testing feature of test automation solutions. Testers can conduct multiple tests parallelly on various devices and platforms to save time, improve productivity, and test quality. 

Use DevOps integration effectively 

Agile and DevOps go hand in hand – DevOps enables cross-functional collaboration within agile projects. Using a DevOps integration in test automation will instantly help testers get their feedback. This will quicken the feedback loop and lead to a better software build with fewer defects. 

Many new test automation solutions come with built-in DevOps integrations. They can also be integrated into the CI/CD pipeline to create a completely automated solution. 

Maintain all-around visibility into the testing process 

Open-ended collaboration cannot exist without transparency in all dealings. This holds good for test automation in agile projects as well. Due to shared responsibility for quality assurance, each stakeholder needs to have access to the testing process. All the tests, data, and generated reports should be visible to the different teams. Visibility into test automation will foster participation from all members. They can give reviews and feedback to improve the tests further. 

Choose an ideal test automation solution 

This forms the crux of the entire transition to test automation in agile. A poorly chosen product that is not compatible with your underlying systems will only impede progress. Ideally, a robust test automation solution should require little to no coding and offer pre-built keyword libraries. This will enable even non-technical personnel to develop tests on the go. The solution should also have parallel testing and cross-platform testing capabilities. It should visually outline the entire test while generating data-rich, insightful reports. Lastly, it should easily integrate with different third-party software. 

Choosing the right automation solution can make or break your agile testing strategy. Avo Assure is a heterogeneous, no-code automation solution that ticks all the necessary boxes for agile adoption. A Fortune 500 manufacturer chose Avo Assure and saw significant results. They reduced their manual testing efforts by 45%, achieved end-to-end coverage, and got to market 5x faster. 

If you’re looking to adopt test automation to augment your agile teams, schedule a demo today. 

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