by Nadine Parmelee, Senior Quality Assurance Engineer
Executed correctly, test automation is a major benefit to an organization with a strong return on their investment and efficient speed to market over competition. There are other benefits as well, but these are the top two. When launching a test automation initiative, there are a number of factors to consider. Perhaps foremost is how test automation will need to integrate with the current business, and technical resources of an organization.
Resources must be aligned in order to maintain and continue to build upon the test automation investment made by the organization. Projects mature, morph and change, and test automation is part of that living ecosystem.
An organization needs to look across the product delivery landscape to make sure they have the confidence their entire team is positioned well and has the expertise to move forward implementing test automation. The “team” in automation consists of everyone from Product Managers (responsible for the product delivery) to the Development Team (programmers) to Test Team (testers) all the way to Customer Support (who have to manage any issues coming in from the field). Once emphasis has been placed on having resources in line with the initiative, one of the next steps is to focus on how success will be measured.
Which Tools to Use
One of the first test automation project decisions to make is what tool(s) to use. There are many automation tools available today, and all have their own specific advantages. Take the time to determine which tool is best for your delivery goal. There is no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to tools. And not all tools are appropriate for all projects, so it is important to make sure the tool you are using will work in your project environment (or environments). Will your project need to be supported on mobile devices? Some tools work better with some coding languages than others, and the controls the developers are using may make different tools a better option for your environment. Be sure to try the tools you are considering with your application before making the decision about which ones to purchase, and keep in mind that tools do change and mature just like your software projects.
There’s an old saying, “I’m in a hurry, so please slow down.” The point, of course, is to take your time and do the task correctly to avoid mistakes that cause you to start over. Properly executed test automation is much the same thing, and the surest way to deliver a high-quality software product is by realizing these three keys:
- Making Test Automation a part of the overall Quality Assurance Strategy yields the most efficiency and reduces time to market
- Test Automation is an investment that brings ROI only when an organization embraces it as part of their living ecosystem
- Test Automation requires experienced resources that span the internal delivery team