Implementing a test automation strategy in four steps
Functional test automation may seem simple and intuitive. However, it requires the definition of a real strategy just like all the other important phases of your project. Here are the four steps that will allow you to ensure to build a sustainable automated test strategy and ensure the success of your campaigns.
Step 1: Ask the right questions and define a clear objective
While functional automated testing can bring considerable value to your project and your team, it is not magic and requires the definition of a clear and precise objective.
For example, while it is true that functional automated testing can lower QA costs, saving money cannot be the sole motivation for implementing it. In the same way, you must be aware of the commitment required to successfully implement automated test cases. If you do not have enough time to write your own tests, it is likely that the problem will remain and will affect the quality and effectiveness of your test cases.
On the other hand, a precise objective with clearly defined expectations, for example "We want to avoid functional regressions on different data sets," goes a long way towards ensuring the success and satisfaction with your automated tests. CTG can support and help you ask the right questions to get your test automation strategy started on the right track.
Step 2: Integrate your automated test strategy into your overall strategy and your teams
Automating your tests is only one part of your overall testing strategy. A common mistake is to think that functional automated testing can replace the whole QA process. That's why tight integration across your teams is essential. It is very important that everyone knows how your automations work. Keep in mind that above all, automation allows developers to obtain feedback more quickly, and thus to improve agility as well as quality. This is where the substantial savings you can make will be found.
Step 3: Define the tests to be performed and launch the first POC
Once these solid foundations have been laid, select the tests you want to automate. To do this, ask yourself which ones will bring you the most value. Some features are long and expensive to test, but if the associated tests are only run once a year, the benefits that your team will gain will likely be small.
To select the most relevant tests to perform, arbitrate between the number of times they are executed and the maintenance they will generate. To do this, it can be useful to rely on a functional analysis of your application. This phase of the project will ensure the maintainability and robustness of your test cases. This phase will allow you to create solid automated tests and to ensure that the automation works.
The launch of the first POC corresponds to the launch of the first pilot test. This is when the first automated test is designed, which will then allow for deployment and scaling across applications and teams.
Step 4: Finally, deployment and standardization
One of the important points often underestimated at this stage of the implementation of automated functional tests is communication. Remember to not only inform and explain the purpose of the test but also its detailed operation and its implications in the code to all the members of your team. Each developer must be able to take ownership of the automated tests.
Once this phase is over, your entire team will become more conformatable with automated testing. Remember to be open to their feedback and include them in a process standardization phase.
To learn more about this topic, or how CTG can help your organization implement or optimize your QA automation, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Unit Manager, Testing
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