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How to Create an Effective Test Automation Strategy

How to Create an Effective Test Automation Strategy

22 March 2022

The success of software testing lies in creating the right test automation strategy, failing which the test automation process will not be effective giving unexpected outcomes. An efficient strategy will help to choose the right automation frameworks, tools, procedures, and resources. Organizations leverage the benefits of test automation strategy to improve the quality of developed software which forms the critical parameter in today’s quality-driven world.

As the software development processes are moving to agile and DevOps environments, conventional testing processes cannot do justice in improving the quality. Hence, modern test automation practices are required to improve the quality across advanced software development processes. Let’s understand the steps involved in creating an effective test automation strategy.

Steps to Create Effective Test Automation Strategy

Organizations are investing in creating an effective test automation strategy to release quality software in the market. As the emphasize on quality is rising at a tremendous rate, even the slightest deviation from the outcome can affect the company’s reputation. Hence, test automation can be declared as one of the important aspects of the software development cycle that works towards delivering top-quality products. To ensure a bug-free release, the testing process should be strategized and executed efficiently. Only well-planned test automation can help you yield the best outcome while implementing test automation without any strategy is often found to fail.

The essential steps involved in an efficient test automation strategy are:

Determining the goal

Determining the goal is the first and most important step in creating a feasible plan. It might sound simple but remember well-planned is half done. Defining the goal will help the testers to understand the requirement, select the right tool, distribute resources wisely, and work towards the defined goal to achieve accurate results.

Choosing skilled resources

Having a highly skilled team is critical; no matter what new-gen tools you are using, only a skilled team can set up and monitor the process to ensure the workflow is functioning as expected. If one is opting for script-based testing, testers are required to write quality codes, while performing scriptless testing, testers are required to efficiently carry out the initial setup. This kind of process has given rise to a new role called SET (software engineer in test) who make the testing process easy, faster, and accurate.

Choose the right tool

With the huge number of test automation tools available today, it becomes extremely difficult to choose the one that fits your requirement. To purchase the right tool, it is important to understand the requirement thoroughly and go for the one that has the capabilities to address all the parameters you are looking for, not to forget the budget.

Selecting the automation testing framework

Test automation frameworks are the recommended guidelines to be followed while writing and running the tests. Based on the requirements, teams can choose frameworks that suit them the best. There are several frameworks available, some of the popular test automation include data-driven framework, keyword-driven framework, linear automation framework, modular-based framework, library architecture framework, and hybrid framework.

Design the test cases

Once the team has determined their testing approach and strategy, they can begin designing test cases that need to be executed. Seasoned testers will be required to test the design case and execute them, this is the most crucial part of the testing process.

Set up the test environment

Once all the above steps are accomplished, setting up a test environment that can complete the test’s execution becomes necessary. Setting up the test environment requires the automation team to acquire the software and hardware necessary to run these tests.

Selecting the right tool is key to succeeding in this process. Teams should consider the nature of the software being used, e.g., should they use code-based or codeless automation? Should the tools used be only open source?

Run the automated tests

This is the next crucial step in the automation phase during which test scripts are created and executed. While creating the test scripts, please ensure that they are correctly documented, well-structured and have potential reuse value. Reusable test cases have the potential to cut down the cost and time significantly.

Analyze test results

Finally, after the test execution process is completed, it is essential to analyze the test results to check if anything went wrong or was unexpected, what needs to be fixed or improved, the overall success rate of the test, etc. It is recommended to share all the test outputs and findings with all the stakeholders to keep them in the loop of the current circumstances and different expectations.

As a part of the continuous integration/ continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipeline, several automated tests need to be run as per the established framework. QA analysts can then look at these tests and identify the necessary means to optimize them.

Maintenance of test scripts

The final step involves the maintenance of the test scripts so that they can be used shortly for regression tests and testing a similar kind of software. Teams are recommended to keep removing the obsolete test cases and adding newer ones to the test repository to ensure effective automation and improve the future reuse value of the test scripts.

The best way to have a successful automation testing journey is to build an effective test automation strategy. Additionally, it is recommended that teams or companies adopt the latest automation testing trends, which is the key to being ahead in the competitive race amongst businesses.

Conclusion

To sum it up, while an effective automation testing strategy involves many steps that can be tedious and complex, it is an enriching experience that benefits everybody, the organization, clients, and users. While it may even seem unnecessary to some, it is a highly beneficial and necessary experience that will have short- and long-term rewards. Never start with the testing process without having a well-planned strategy to ensure you reap the maximum benefits, improve brand reputation, creating loyal user base, and generate improved business revenue.



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