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Automation testingHow ToQa

6 Great Tips To Consider When Defining A Test Automation Strategy

5 Mins read

Here are 6 great tips to consider when defining a test automation strategy. Testing is one of the main ways to learn about your application before it goes live. The goal of testing is to ensure that an application behaves as expected, does not crash or slow down, and does not contain flaws or bugs. There are many types of tests that can be performed on applications, but the most common types are functional and integration tests.

A test automation strategy involves automating repetitive tasks in an automated way so that they can be repeated with little human interaction. Tests should also be reliable because any deviation from a prescribed checklist in production could fail to perform as desired by the business owner/management team’s expectations. Once automated, tests can be performed many times over and do not necessarily have to be performed by a human being.

There are many benefits associated with test automation, but the key benefit that most companies are after when they set up their automation strategy is the ability to speed up the application testing process. Automation allows a company to perform all of its tests in hours (as opposed to days or weeks) and at the same time free up its QA team to work on other tasks.
As with any other business decision one needs to decide what exactly is the goal of automating your tests and what is it you wish to achieve. Depending on your organization’s goals and objectives you will need a different test automation strategy.

As an organization moves toward a software-defined and cloud-based architecture, test automation should be included as a key component to the overall strategy. The main reason for this is that automation allows the testing team to create different test cases for existing systems, new applications, and systems under development.

In large organizations, it is not uncommon for the test automation team to have at least 10 times more work than they can handle. This is because there are so many different areas of expertise necessary to ensure that a company can get its products out quickly and configure them appropriately.

Tips To Consider When Defining A Test Automation Strategy

Requirements for automation often stem from business drivers, so the first step in testing automation is to identify what business needs drive the test automation strategy. The most common drivers are:

1) Assessing the Business Drivers

Once identified, assess each business driver and prioritize them based on their impact on the organization. You should then create a timeline that identifies time-to-value and time-to-execute milestones to ensure that you deliver on your goals and objectives.
In order to have high-quality test automation, one must first understand what “High Quality” means for an application and what it does not mean.

2) Understand High Quality

High quality does not mean that you have to test every single feature in a perfect way. It means that you must not miss any critical scenarios and your automation must load and execute fast. All of these factors together can add up to a high-quality test automation framework.
Quality is achieved by ensuring that the right combination of people, processes, and tools is used to create an automated test suite that provides business value while being flexible enough to support changing requirements. Methodologies and languages are important aspects of creating a high quality automated test suite.

3) Assessing Methodologies and Languages

While multiple scripting languages can work for creating test automation frameworks, it is important to select the right language or combination of languages that match your test strategy.
Often when developing an automation strategy, organizations think in terms of what kind of application they are testing and how they should test it. There is no single way to successfully create an automated test case, but there are some good practices that will help you achieve your goals.
It is important to keep in mind that test automation is all about reducing costs associated with maintenance and support by 50% or more, while improving end-to-end quality by over 20%.


4) Manage Test Case Development Process

There are multiple different tools that can be used for writing test cases. The most common testing tools allow users to create a set of prebuilt scenarios that mirror typical application usage patterns. These test suites can then be used directly from your application’s interface. The next common method is creating test cases using a specialized scripting language. This can be a language that integrates with your application’s interface or an independent scripting language that allows you to test the functionality of the application from an external interface.
Regardless of the tool that you are using, it is important to have common standards and best practices for developing your test cases. To ensure success, you must keep in mind the following:

a) Automate The Right Things

If all you’re doing is automating regression tests, then don’t bother automating functional tests. Regression tests are easy to automate and can be automated many times over compared to functional tests. Functional tests can be hard to automate and sometimes need to be performed by humans in order for them to be effective at rooting out different kinds of defects.

5) Manage Test Execution Process

Just as important as managing your test case development process is managing your actual test execution. The overall goal during this stage of the process is to focus on three distinct aspects: ensuring test data integrity, optimizing cycle time, and making sure that all necessary testing is performed. During execution you should keep the following in mind:

a) Test Data Integrity

It’s crucial that your test data remains clean. This means that you are maintaining a consistent set of test data during each cycle of execution. This is especially relevant if you are automating tests in different contexts.


b) Test Cycle Time

When developing test cases, it’s important to think about how long it takes to run each case. Whenever possible, try to run the same test for different scenarios at the same time so that you can quickly identify when performance bottlenecks occur and make adjustments as necessary.
During this process, it is also important to keep track of all bugs that arise both in your prebuilt test cases and within the actual tests themselves. While they may seem obvious at first, keeping track of these defects can help you understand the overall quality of your test automation.


c) Test Coverage

It is important that you try to make sure that all of your tests are covered by automated tests. Once this is complete, testing should continue on a regular basis to be sure that new defects do not become uncovered.
Test coverage refers to how many different parts of the application have been tested and what percentage of that application has been tested for any potential defects. Achieving 100% test coverage is difficult and oftentimes unnecessary as long as you know where there are gaps in your test coverage, so it’s important to monitor and plan accordingly.


6) Managing Test Data Collection Process

The final step in creating a high-quality test automation framework is ensuring that all the data necessary for executing the tests has been collected. During this time it is important to closely monitor your test data, and make sure that you’re collecting the information needed for running at least one more automated test. The following questions should be considered:
a) What are the most common inputs for these data?
It’s useful to collect more than just what you need for your tests. Think about how often your application sends out requests and how many times an error could pop up so that you can use the collected data to run a variety of scenarios in different environments.
b) Is the data necessary for executing tests reliable?
This question is especially relevant when switching from manual to automated testing. Since some of your tests will be automated and others will not, it’s important that you define a consistent way of collecting and validating this data.

Conclusion

To ensure adequate test coverage, developers should have access to test cases in an easy-to-use way. In some organizations, there are specific support roles responsible for creating documentation that covers which test cases need to be run and how they need to be run based on different scenarios. This documentation should also include descriptions of what tests are being skipped due to certain conditions.

You might be interested in how to write good test cases with examples

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