Why Automation Is Not Meeting Companies Needs and How To Fix It
High-quality software is the goal of all software businesses. Poor quality software can result in serious flaws that can hurt customer satisfaction. Bad software can end up costing companies money impacting their value. This is something that businesses are trying to avoid. Nowadays, companies are turning to automated testing to get the results they need. Yet, in their endeavor for great quality software, they rush the automated testing process which hinders them more.
“There are an increasing number of automation tools on the market, there are still significant challenges with applying automation at the appropriate level (41%).” -Capgemini, World Quality Report
Problem: Lack of Specialist or In-house Knowledge
Automation is often under-exploited and not utilized properly. This is due to teams not having the proper education on the depth and range of automation techniques. The wide variety of automation tools and techniques on the market can leave companies feeling overwhelmed. They need to invest in specialist or in-house knowledge, but a quality head of automation can be expensive. Companies need to consider the long-term investment.
There are a couple of solutions to building automation knowledge. The first choice is to hire an expert in-house. This might yield faster results, but organizations need to consider their dependency on that employee. The other thing to consider with an in-house automation expert is the cost as they do not come cheap. Another choice would be outsourcing. With outsourcing, it is important to know what automation tools and experience they bring to the table. If there is a team available and they use tools that would benefit your company, it makes sense to outsource the automation work to them. You will get more value for your money.
Problem: The Big-Bang Approach
Another reason why companies are getting frustrated with automation is what we like to call the big-bang approach. Companies get so excited about automation that they automate throughout every test-cycle. Automation does not work that way, thus some of these test-cycles will fail. It is important not to push too fast when it comes to automation, rather take your time and ensure that the technique is maintainable. Companies that introduce automation more sustainably have higher success rates.
Short answer, don’t go big. We have all heard the phrase go big or go home, but this does not apply to automated testing. Instead, focus on scaling the automation process within your company. Target manual tests that would be easy enough to automate and that could yield quick results. Use this snowball effect to work your way up. One note of importance here, not everything can be automated. If you try and automate every test case, chances are that you will end up breaking the test cases. The maintainability aspect will be lost.
Deciding to implement automated testing can be a fantastic choice, but you have to choose the right process and tool. One of the biggest challenges that companies find when starting to use their automation suites is that their product changes too quickly. This means the test cases that were written earlier or previous automated work is no longer applicable.
“61% of respondents said they had difficulties automating as their applications changed with every release.” - Capgemini, World Quality Report
Maintenance of an automated testing suite can tricky as organizations constantly release new features. Yet, there are ways to maintain the test cases with proper automation tools and software. We might be a little biased, but AscentialTest is a fantastic automation tool for upkeep and maintenance. Instead of having to change or rewrite test cases, AscentialTest has features that enable users to maintain and rebuild test cases. By changing one step, it will go on to modify every step related to that within the entire suite. Thus, companies can make the changes they need to test new features.
What makes automated testing so efficient and fast is the reusability of tests. Yet, organizations do not reuse test cases as much as they should. This is due to a few varying factors. The main reason is defining the right test coverage and depth which impacts the efficiency of automated testing. Test data and environment are critical in achieving strong, reusable test cases. Automated testing needs to be reusable to achieve the highest efficiency rate. Another issue is the maintainability.
“48% of our respondents, pointed to issues with test data and test environment availability and stability” - Capgemini, World Quality Report
Test data and environment are probably the biggest blockers in reusing tests. Yet, it is possible to continue reusing tests for years. To do this you will need a person or team with excellent automation knowledge and expertise, strong test case writers, and an awesome tool. One choice is to outsource your work to an agency that is focused on maintainability and reusability. Getting the correct tools is another. Automation tools such as AscentialTest work incredibly well as the drag and drop feature, screenshot tool, and steps make the process of reusing tests over again much more simple.
Automated testing can be a sure-fire way to improve the quality of software. But, if done in poor form, it can make the software even lower quality than before. Be on the lookout for these issues when starting to implement automated testing. Avoiding these issues, automated testing will accomplish your goals. If you have any questions or concerns about implementing automated testing in your organization, please reach out to us. We would love to provide tips, answers, and make your life easier.