Is your QA team facing these Automation Testing Challenges?
Automated Testing has become essential in the DevOps and Agile eras. Effective automation testing can help the testing team be more productive and improve the quality of the system in the long term. However, the most challenging aspect of implementing test automation is ensuring its effective use.
Those who have tried to implement test automation often confirm that it is not a simple task. According to the State of Test Automation 2020-2021 Survey by Kobiton, 25.9% of businesses believe selecting the appropriate tool to be the greatest challenge, followed by determining the optimal test automation strategy and more.
In this article, we will explore the key challenges in automation testing that developers and businesses encounter, as well as how to solve the test automation challenges.
01. Communication and Collaboration
You cannot do automation testing without test automation tools. Choosing the appropriate automation tool is the key consideration for testing success.
There is a wide variety of test automation tools available for you to evaluate. They can be free and open-source, like Katalon and Selenium, or licensed, such as TestComplete, which makes it difficult to choose. These tools also differ from each other in the testing types and technologies that they support.
Though each test automation tool nowadays is great in its own right, not every tool is suitable for your team and project. Many teams got stuck at this stage because they don't have enough skills to use the tool they prefer, their set of tools cannot provide full test coverage, or simply because the tool they want just doesn't exist.
Therefore, you must do extensive research and have a checklist for choosing automation testing tool. If a single tool cannot meet all your needs, do not hesitate to adopt a set of tools.
Moreover, taking your budget into account when evaluating them is also worth considering. Some tips include listing all the requirements of the tool based on the Application Under Test (AUT) that you want to perform automation testing or look for expert reviews on the tools.
If you’re confusing which testing tools to use, Katalon can be the best choice since it provides an all-in-one automation test platform for Continuous Testing and DevOps. The tool offers a vast amount of codeless features, suitable for even inexperienced testers.
02. Tool Evaluation and Selection
To make Automation Testing work, your team would need much more synergy than that of Manual Testing. This means you have to get everyone on the same page when designing the automation testing strategy. Communication between teams is one of the main factors that make a team function work well.
Testers, developers, business analysts, project managers, and in some cases, even the management team and some specific groups of users must sit back together and get everything agreed-upon. Note that an automation testing strategy is not just about plans, scope, tasks, or timeframe. It also specifies what types of tests, types of testing, or types of testing phase to be automated. Everything needs to be communicated clearly to every stakeholder.
Furthermore, testers and developers alike have to make a convincing business case for Automation Testing, a cost-and-benefit analysis, and Return on Investment (ROI) analysis presented to the higher management team. Sometimes top executives would require the team to build a proof of concept.
03. Test Automation Skills
Flawless automation testing is a combined effort of tools and expert skills.
There's still a common misconception that manual testers are enough to carry out automation testing as most tools nowadays support test script recording and playback. That's why many automation testing efforts fall short: they just cannot use the automation tools to their full advantage.
Your test automation wouldn't be able to work at its best without experts who not only know the tool from the inside out but also have the right skillsets. Recently, there has been a growing need for a new kind of role: automation testers. They are experts at designing and maintaining automation frameworks, writing test scripts, and developing automation solutions. Automation testers are also responsible for solving technical problems.
Explore more: Essential Skills For A Top Automation Tester
04. Upfront Investment
Without an appropriate test automation approach, technology will lose its effectiveness. This is comparable to a body without a brain. Selecting the proper approach is another substantial difficulty in automation testing since testers often don’t know where to start.
The report from Katalon shows that the primary strategic driver for business pursuing a test automation strategy is to improve quality.
A test automation plan, simply expressed, is a microcosm of a broader test strategy. Automation is a component of the whole testing process and should be approached with caution. This is another impediment or one of the primary issues in automated testing since test engineers would struggle to devise a strategy with so many factors to consider.
An effective test strategy should address these things:
- The testing scope: choose which test cases should be tested automatically to increase the effectiveness (will be discussed later).
- Test automation approach: consider process, technology and roles.
- Risk analysis
- Test environment
- Execution plan
- Release control
- Release analysis
Discover the full checklist for automation testing strategy here!
05. The Selection of Test Cases to be Automated
Not every test case can be automated. This is true for test cases of nature such as compatibility, user interface, or recovery. These types of test cases still need to be executed manually.
To decide which test cases are to be automated, you need to develop a list of criteria that those test cases must meet.
Most often, you don't want to run automation tests on features that are prone to risk, that have high interest to clients or that have business logic.
06. False Initial Investment
Investing in automation requires a significant upfront expenditure for tools, skilled personnel, infrastructure, and other resources. This may include licensing fees, operational costs, as well as the cost of training employees and establishing a grid, even for open-source solutions such as Selenium.
From the below stats, many organizations allocate between 30% and 49% of their total quality assurance budget to test automation.
To demonstrate the significant financial advantages of automation, it is important to assess the costs of production defects versus the costs associated with implementing automation. Additionally, it is essential to consider the intangible benefits that automation provides, such as the opportunity to update and streamline existing workflows and procedures, thereby enhancing efficiency by reducing redundancy or reallocating staff.
Besides, to improve the automation testing ROI, here are some best practices that you can consider:
- Define test automation scope
- Concentrate on test design
- Select the proper automation framework, etc.
Know more tips to improve your ROI in testing: Ways To Get Higher Automation Testing ROI
07. Data Reliance Issue
Managing data is one of the most challenging aspects of test automation. The data must be in a specific state when the test script is executed, or serious issues can arise in multiple scenarios. For instance, if the same data is used in several instances of the script, it may cause the test to fail. Any changes made to the data in one test execution can also cause other instances to fail. Additionally, if the data of a script is built up by executing another test script, managing it can be even more difficult.
To overcome these data management challenges, it is essential to develop self-contained and independent test scripts. Test scripts should be written in a way that they create and clean up all the data required for successful execution. This approach eliminates the possibility of test failure due to data-related issues, and the team can ensure the smooth execution of tests.
In a Closing Note
Test automation is a never-ending process of development and improvement. In this article on critical challenges that testers may encounter, we have seen how by concentrating more on fast value rather than fast tests, one can ensure the appropriate strategy for automation.