What big of an impact does test automation have on a project?
Test automation improves one’s project in various ways and therefore has quite a big impact. One of the main benefits is that automated tests save your team’s effort for manual testing. That way, your manual testers can focus on other tasks, which speeds up the whole delivery process and also reduces human-made errors.
Furthermore, test automation has positive effects on software quality(*). It increases the overall effectiveness of the testing process when talking about repetitive and similar testing tasks.
So, automation saves you a lot of time and efforts, and improves the project’s quality. These are all good reasons why enterprises should step up their test automation game.
Create a test automation plan
Important note before we start: Automating all tests is not what you should aim for. Instead, finding a good balance is key to achieving efficiency in your projects.
In order to get started, you should create a test automation plan. This plan should include
- the test cases that need to be automated,
- their estimated effort,
- the responsible teams or team members, and
- the goal you want to achieve.
First, you need to gain an overview of all the tests you think should be automated. To help you with this task: target the ones that run frequently and require large amounts of data to perform the same action. Examples are tests that run on multiple different platforms, that require a lot of effort and time, or that tend to cause human error.
After determining which types of tests to automate, you should order them by priority. Prioritizing them will help you keep track of the progress and lets you cover the most important or risky ones first.
Once this is done, you should decide what actions your automated tests will perform. We recommend you to try keeping them rather small and focused on one purpose. If needed, your teams can then make adjustments to them with only a little effort.
Furthermore, if required, you can easily group these small and simple tests into one larger automated test case later on.
Define responsible team members
The next crucial step you should take your time with is to consider which teams or specialists with the needed skills should be responsible for achieving your goal. Therefore, we recommend that you first gain insight into the level of experience and skills of each team member.
Writing automated test scripts, for instance, requires a deep understanding of scripting languages. It is very likely that not everyone has this knowledge. Some may be experts in writing manual test cases.
Before you divide your test automation tasks and assign them to your teams, you should make sure that someone can take care of this.
In case you are unsure of whether your team members can build automated test scripts, you might want to consider keyword tests instead. Unlike scripts, they allow specialists with practically all knowledge and skill levels to create strong automated tests.
However, in this case, we would rather suggest contemplating training programs for your employees. This way, you can be sure that there will be someone within your teams who can write automated test scripts in the future.
Choose the right automation testing tools
Tip three is all about the right tool set to get your teams started. Now that you have created a strategic plan and know who should execute it, it is time for the proper equipment.
There are loads of test automation tools on the market, and it is important to choose one that best suits your overall requirements. Questions you should clear out when choosing the tool are, for example:
- In which layer(s) do you want to include more automated tests? Does the tool support your system’s infrastructure?
- Does the tool include certain features that could support you in achieving your goal (faster)?
- Is it compatible with integration into CI/CD pipelines?
Of course, there is no limit to the important questions to ask when choosing an automation testing tool. They completely depend on your needs.
If you have absolutely no idea which one to choose, and you just want to get started with a tool that is not too complicated, we recommend Tosca. We have been using it ourselves for years, and can therefore explain it to you and your teams. So, if you need a little further help, reach out to us!
(*) according to “The Impacts of Test Automation on Software’s Cost, Quality and Time to Market” by Divya Kumara, and K. K. Mishrab,