The Devil in the Details: Why a Sound Strategy is Your Key to Test Automation Success

If you have a large testing need, there’s no question that test automation can probably net you a pretty significant ROI—heck, it can potentially cut your testing budget in half!  Unfortunately, many companies fail to do that.  In the end, your success—or failure—with test automation all comes down to one thing: a sound strategy.

The Devil in the Details: Why a Sound Strategy is Your Key to Test Automation Success

Like seemingly every major project, test automation seems (relatively) simple in a vacuum.  As always, the devil is in the details.

There’s no getting around it: test automation is a pretty complex beast. 

Heck, it’s tough to just get started.  From developing a business case, choosing a tool, investing in a license, and finding a partner, there’s no shortage of places to potentially stumble. 

And after you’ve done all that, that’s when the real fun begins.

Like seemingly every major project, test automation seems (relatively) simple in a vacuum.  As always, the devil is in the details.

If you want to be successful, you’ll need a plan of attack—something that’s a little deeper than “automate anything and everything immediately”.  As tempting as that approach may appear, it’s also an incredibly messy one—and one that’s rarely synonymous with an immediate ROI.  The resulting lack of any tangible return will only serve to increase upper management’s dissatisfaction; potentially leading them to scale back or abort the project entirely. 

And when it comes time to scope the actual effort of automating your test cases, you’ll soon realize that it too, is far more complicated than you’d think.   The thing is, though, not all test cases are created equal.  While some are quite simple, requiring relatively little work to automate, others are far more complex—necessitating far more time to automate.  Realities like these can often push plans off-schedule and over-budget in the blink of an eye. 

Instead, it’s far smarter (and less risky) to start small.  Choose a module for a pilot and automate about 5-10 percent of your regression testing there.  Pay close attention to the most-executed and often-repeated tests—those are the ones you’re going to want to target first (their high usage will net you the fastest return).  After you’ve gotten a feel for the general script-recording process, you can expand the rest of your coverage to 50-60 percent of the module’s testing.

Fortunately, we can help you face these kinds of challenges.  From the biggest challenge to the smallest detail, our automation experts know everything there is to know about crafting a successful test automation strategy.  For example, they know that the distribution of simple to moderate to complex test cases at any given organization is about 60-30-10, respectively—ensuring that hiccups like the aforementioned example will never cause you any trouble.

And that’s just the top of the iceberg.  But we can’t give away all our secrets now, can we?


Mike Hodge
Lighthouse Technologies, Inc.
Software Testing | Quality Assurance Consulting | Oracle EBS Consulting

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