Reasons Why Automated Testing Tools Don’t Work as Expected

Test automation is a must while implementing modern development methodologies. However, although automated testing tools are the need of the hour, they are not as user-friendly as they appear. While they claim to save time and money and also enhance the software quality, seldom do they do so. In spite of all the benefits of test automation, several organizations still struggle to implement it effectively. Let us try and understand why this happens. The key reasons why test automation fails to produce the expected results include:

Choosing the Wrong Tests to Automate:

Aptly said by Mark Fewster, “It doesn’t matter how clever you are at test automating a test or how well you do it if the test itself achieves nothing faster.” Many organizations focus on converting their existing test cases into automated tests. They have a misconception that they will succeed in automation if they automate 100% of the manual test cases. In trying to achieve this goal, organizations end up automating their manual tests only to find the process time-consuming and expensive. The fact is that a poor test is a poor test, whether it is executed manually or automatically.

Lack of a Good Automated Testing Tool and Process:

Many teams adopt an automated testing tool and start automating as many test cases as possible, with little consideration of how they can structure their automation in a way that is both scalable and maintainable.

They give little consideration to managing the test scripts and test results or creating reusable functions or separating data from tests, and other vital issues which allow a test automation effort to progress successfully. Soon, the testing team realizes that they have large quantities of test scripts and many separate test result files combined with the additional work of maintaining the existing scripts while continuing to automate new scripts. Ultimately, the organization realizes that they require a larger test automation team with higher costs resulting in no additional benefit.

Inability to Adapt to Changes:

As the team progresses towards their goal of automating as many existing test cases as possible, they ignore a crucial factor. They often don’t consider what will happen to the automated tests when the application under test (AUT) experiences a notable change.

In lacking a well-conceived test automation software that considers how to handle changes to the system under test, teams often find a majority of their test scripts giving false results, since the scripts can no longer detect the behavior they were programmed to expect.

With teams hurrying to update the test scripts to account for the changes, project stakeholders lose faith in the results of the test automation efforts.

In conclusion, the success or failure of a test automation project depends on more than just the automated testing tool in use. Other factors have to be taken into account and need to be given as much importance as the selection of the right test automation software. In order to make test automation successful, companies must embrace automation as a culture instead of adopting it as a one-off project.

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