The rise of development methodologies such as agile, DevOps, has made software testing a critical contributor to the product success. Software testing is also becoming increasingly important because of the rise of the application economy. Today, software development companies recognize the importance of testing and having a well-defined strategy for automated software testing in place. Understanding the criticality of this function, only 14% of test automation initiatives are successful and deliver the desired benefits.
Why do Automated Software Testing Initiatives Fail More Often Than They Succeed?
- Building a test automation plan as an afterthought and not aligning the automation strategy with the business objectives leads to testing failures. As development methodologies are evolving and becoming faster, it is also essential that testing strategies evolve as well.
- We also need to take into consideration the speed of development when talking about automated software testing. The main aim of automation is to test at the speed that matches the speed of development. Since the main objective of agile development being faster releases, testing has to be highly automated and bugs have to be fixed almost immediately in order to deliver high-quality applications. This also means that testing teams and development teams have to work as partners and not in separate environments to facilitate the speed of agile development. Clearly for development initiatives to be successful the roles of developers and testers has to become increasingly integrated.
- Today's digitalized market requires companies to test fast and test often. Even the development process needs to be micro-iterative. This can be done by breaking down the features into small testable blocks and increase the rate at which bugs can be identified. The test results must be used to resolve failures immediately in order to make automated software testing successful.
- Another reason why a number of automated software testing initiatives fail is because organizations fail to leverage test data. Test data must be easily available and should support different test combinations and maturity levels. To enable this, it is essential to make tests more repeatable and independent and allow different testing teams to create their own data to use and access when they need it.
- The automated software testing strategy also has to be updated and upgraded according to the changing needs of an application. Having a robust maintenance model makes sure that the test suite remains up-to-date with changing workflows and functionalities of an application.
- Identifying which test automation platform suits your product requirements is one of the key contributors to the success or failure of automated software testing. Assessing the business objectives that need to be met, the number of expected releases per year, assessing the application lifecycle, application technology etc. are some of the areas to look into while selecting a test automation platform.
The success of any automated software testing initiative, it is imperative to set the right expectation. The aim of any testing strategy should not be 100% automation. Instead, testers should identify which areas will benefit most from automation. It is when this approach is applied, automated software testing initiatives are 100% successful and deliver the desired ROI.