Test Automation for Agile vs ROI, how do you measure up?

Automation testing is fast becoming an integral part of testing strategy for any organization that is aiming at providing great customer experience. Add to this the fact that automation greatly contributes to continuous delivery in Agile, from which there is no escape in today’s competitive business environment. Why is it then that executives are not convinced about the ROI on investment that goes into automation tools?

Before moving ahead, take a look at these statistics:

  • Globally, companies spend over USD $300 million in debugging their software (Research from Cambridge University’s Judge Business School)
  • In 2015, stock prices of companies with news-making software failures fell by 4% and by 5.7% for those with multiple failures (Study by Parasoft)
  • It costs four to five times as much to fix a software bug after release than when it is caught in the design process – (Source – IBM Systems Sciences Institute)

Test Automation and Agile, a match made in heaven

When you want to ensure that the software that is delivered to the customer is of the best quality, a test strategy that combines the advantages of automated testing and manual testing works best. For example, automation for Unit testing/Regression or manual for Exploratory testing/ Usability testing.

Agile is a responsive approach to address the customer’s needs and smart Agile teams have automated testing in their overall, continuous delivery strategy. This ensures efficiency in the development process by allowing development to be broken down into iterative cycles or sprints. But this also means that you need to test faster and test often even while keeping the focus on continuously improving the product with each iteration. Add to this the fact that new features are added after every sprint, and the whole situation can seem overwhelming.

Enter Test Automation

But this is where test automation ideas come handy as they can take care of the majority of the seemingly large workload. For example, Qualitia’s test automation platform can help by providing a sustainable way of testing new features that are continuously added. Its Scriptless Test Automation method can be used throughout the test automation lifecycle.

Faster and frequent testing ensures that defects are identified and fixed continuously thus ensuring that the products are of high quality from the very beginning. The software product that is developed in this manner can be introduced into the user’s environment in a rhythm that works without causing disruptions. Business can not only continue as usual but it can grow impressively.

Checklists Before Moving Ahead With Automation

What to Automate

  • Most important functionality
  • Most frequently used features
  • Tests that need to be run with different configurations
  • Tests that need to be run repeated with test conditions-data combos
  • Tests that provide expected results quickly

How to go About Automating

  • Strategy for test automation
  • Planning test automation
  • Remember, Test automation = Software development (same care to be taken)
  • Build a solid suite/tests
  • Repeat

If all these points are taken care of, solid test automation and its execution will complement the larger development lifecycle. Obvious benefits such as 24*7 availability, reliability, reusability, and so on can be observed. In addition to this, new developments in cutting edge test automation software companies is expanding the horizon and scope of what can be automated.

So, is investment in Test Automation expensive? Definitely not when you look at the fact that it costs four to five times as much to fix a software bug after release than when it is caught in the design process (source – IBM Systems Sciences Institute). It becomes quickly evident that the benefits of automation far outweigh the costs.

Test Automation is strategically important and Automation is here to stay.

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