Software testing is on the pedestal of a paradigm shift where manual testing will make way for automation testing. The reason is pretty simple – it’s the need of the hour. Customers want quick updates and new features in the product, while businesses are looking to lower the time to market to gain a competitive advantage. These can happen if you start relying more on automation testing and less on manual testing, which requires you to invest time and effort.
In addition, bringing automation into testing ease-out the QA team’s work and increase testing efficiency. As a result, the automation testing market will become a $40 billion industry by 2027. However, all is not rosy in automation testing. You can’t expect to jump on an automation testing tool and hope it does all the work you desire. For example, 5% of people use automation testing in all test cases, while 34% use it for 1/4th of test cases.
Automation testing requires meticulous planning and picture-perfect execution to reap rich rewards. The role of test automation strategy comes into the picture as it helps you define a roadmap of where you want to reach, what goals you want to achieve, and how to get to that stage in automation testing. This blog will provide you with a step-by-step guide on creating an effective test strategy for business. So, let’s get things moving.
Steps to building an effective automation testing strategy
Step 1: Identify cases for automated testing
The first thing you need to do is decide which test cases you can automate and which ones to be left behind. The developer will want all test cases to get automated, but that’s not how automation testing works. The software testing projects have some issues that need to be verified manually. Therefore, identifying the causes for automation testing becomes paramount.
Here is a list of scenarios where automation testing fits well:
- Test cases that run on multiple configurations
- Test cases that require a long time to perform
- Test cases that need more extensive data sets as an input
- Test cases related to performance testing
- Test cases related to data-driven testing
Step 2: Assign priority to test cases
Once you’ve identified the test cases that need to be automated, the next step is to prioritize them. For this purpose, you can use a risk-based approach to evaluate the test case’s impact on your business and revenue. You should give the test cases with the most impact higher priority, and those with negligible impact should be assigned low priority. It will help you phase out the software testing cycle appropriately, and you will get the maximum benefit from it.
Step 3: Hire a dedicated automation engineer or team
After assigning the priority of test cases, hire a dedicated automation engineer or team that can help you translate your vision into reality. Never give the responsibility of automation testing to your manual testing staff, as testing automation requires a different approach. Instead, look out for an automation engineer who has the skill, experience, and knowledge to handle complex scenarios. Also, watch out for engineering teams experienced in multiple test automation tools.
Step 4: Choose the right automation testing tool
The selection of an automation testing tool is one of the most critical steps of the automation testing strategy as it will decide the future course of action. Here, the dedicated engineering team that you hired will bail you out. First, however, you should have your vision clear and define specific requirements such as complexity, reusability of test scripts, technical feasibility, test data coverage, application stability, and cross-platform support (works for both web and mobile app testing). Then, engineering teams help you choose a tool based on these lines.
Step 5: Craft a test automation framework
Crafting a test automation framework is not about getting the technical stuff right; it’s also about making it scalable and flexible. The testing framework you build will not be limited to a single project; it will help you in many future projects. So, make sure you create a testing framework that is sustainable and robust. Furthermore, keep in mind that the testing framework should have a re-execution facility for test cases. Here are a few tips for getting started:
- Implement object repositories for GUI testing
- Use the PageObjects model (POM)
- Define testing framework scope
- Create a rich documentation
- Conduct frequent audits
Step 6: Set up the testing environment
The testing environment combines hardware and software resources that help you test the system’s performance. So, adequately setting up testing environments can seal the deal for you. Here are some best practices that you can follow for setting up testing environments:
- Make sure the system has the application available for testing
- Verify the availability of standard test data sets
- Ensure that all the resources required for testing are available
- Appoint one specific person for the testing environment maintenance
- Schedule the use of the testing environment
- Ensure there’s a connection to the network before initializing the testing procedure
Step 7: Design and execute test cases
Till now, you’ve planned and set up everything related to automation testing. Now, it’s time to move one step ahead and execute that plan. First, you need to design and implement all test cases. Then, while making test cases or test scripts, ensure they’re reusable, well-structured, and richly documented. Finally, for execution, you can utilize the testing tools and frameworks.
Step 8: Analyze the result
Successfully executing the test cases is one thing, but you can judge the success of a testing campaign only when you make a report and analyze the results. Many tools available in the market can help you generate reports. They also provide valuable insights about your testing campaign, which you can use for the future course of action. However, manual analysis is paramount if you get into the “thick of things” and find out more about your testing campaign.
Here are some tips and tricks for that:
- Try to analyze the results collectively and not in isolation
- Give importance to interactive data visualization enhancements
- Avail broader logs rather than a pass-or-fail mechanism
Automation testing is not as easy as it sounds. You can’t over-rely on tools and frameworks and hope they will do all the work. However, your proactiveness as a tester decides whether your testing campaign will be a massive hit or a bad miss. To ensure that aspect, the role of testing automation strategy comes into play. This blog provides you with in-depth detail on building an effective test automation strategy that can reap rich rewards for you in the long term. We hope it will help you when you decide to move on to automation testing soon.
Hardik Shah is a Tech Consultant at Simform, a firm that provides mobile app development services. He leads large scale mobility programs that cover platforms, solutions, governance, standardization, and best practices.