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How to Build an Awesome Test Automation Strategy

Test automation strategy

Software development is a hyper-competitive industry. The only way to maintain an edge over the others is by sticking to an accelerated development timeline without losing out on the quality of the software. 

Unfortunately, manual testing strikes out on both of those points. It’s tedious, time-consuming, and fraught with errors. Unsurprisingly, over 90% of all software firms have adopted test automation to some degree. Not only does automated testing reduce input costs and save time, but it also offers better coverage and increased testing efficiency. All these benefits collectively enable firms to roll out their products faster and with fewer bugs. 

But many teams find it hard to implement an effective test automation system. They either abort their efforts midway and revert to manual testing or use the wrong tools and frameworks and are back to square one in no time. 

While test automation is the best available option, your projects can go haywire without a proper strategy in place. 

There are two significant points to keep in mind while designing your strategy. 

  1. Define which tests should be automated. 
  1. Select an optimal testing solution that contains all necessary features. 

How to choose suitable test cases for automation? 

The tests that can be automated are usually grouped under two categories – functional and non-functional. Functional tests are designed to check whether the finished software meets the business requirements. Non-functional tests are designed to check the response time, loading time, and speed of the software. Then, based on accepted quality metrics, parameters are set for the software to be tested. 

There is a multitude of tests that can be automated. But choosing the right ones for your specific software is critical. The tests you choose should give quick ROI, be easy to automate, and be compatible with your required parameters. Most experts agree that the ideal tests to be first considered for automation are regression tests, performance tests, data-driven tests, API tests, and unit tests. On the other hand, ad hoc tests, UI tests, and low-risk tests should not. Eventually, it all boils down to the testing requirements of the software, the resources available, and the capabilities of the personnel. 

To make this job easier, there are four points you should keep in mind. 

  1. What are the execution time and testing frequency of the test case? Long and repetitive tests are prime candidates for automation. 
  1. What are the resources required for automation? This could cover devices, OS, platforms, and databases. Automation that requires several resources should not be automated. 
  1. How complex is the test case? In an ideal scenario, you should consider automating the most difficult test cases.  
  1. Is the RoI of the test case positive? The RoI of automation needs to be weighed against its implementation and maintenance costs. 

Mike Cohn, the author of the book ‘Succeeding With Agile,’ presented a test automation pyramid theory to help testers decide which tests to automate first. 

Test case

Mike Cohn discusses the costs to maintain and execute the tests as you move upwards in the pyramid. It’s often advised that the strategy should be focused on automating API and unit tests instead of UI tests. This technique offers more breadth of coverage with less overhead. 

What capabilities should your test automation solution have?  

Once you’ve finalized the tests you want to automate, it’s time to take a good, critical look at your test automation solution. With the wrong solution in hand, your entire strategy could falter. So, before you pick your choice, make a note of all these necessary capabilities that a good test automation solution should have. 

  1. No-code – No-code testing solutions increase accessibility and make it possible for testers with no coding background to design and automate tests. Eventually, you’ll end up saving time and cost because your employees will be liberated of the manual tasks and empowered to do more innovative parts of the job. 
  1. Heterogeneous – When a test automation solution spans different technologies, you can achieve end-to-end test automation. If your test automation solution is technology-dependent, you’ll have to download and maintain plugins for each of those. On the flip-side, if the solution can test seamlessly across technologies, you end up avoiding all such hassles. 
  1. Smart scheduling – You should be able to execute multiple scenarios in a single VM parallelly. Your solution should also allow you to run test cases remotely in ICE pools. This is a huge time saver and will also reduce the efforts involved. 
  1. Intelligent reporting – Your solution should include pre-built customizable report templates. It should be intuitive, clear, and easy to use. Well-written reports allow you to access as well as understand the data with ease. 

The Bottom line 

Avo Automation’s Avo Assure is a simple, intelligent, and resilient test automation platform that offers all the above capabilities and more. With Avo Assure, you can expand your test coverage and reduce maintenance overheads. In fact, with our product, a large Fortune 500 Bank managed to cut down on its testing costs by over 63%. To learn more about how Avo Automation can help you, book a demo today! 

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