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    8 Reasons Why Your Test Automation Project Fails [With Solutions]

    automation pitfalls

    Automation testing is a crucial subset of enterprise software testing. By implementing test automation, we’re able to expedite the validation process while ensuring the quality of the products. However, in fact, 64% of test automation fails to deliver as per expectations, forcing enterprises to go back to manual testing. This topic will analyze the possible reasons that may negatively impact your automation testing projects. 

    Here is the list of 8 possible reasons:

    1. Impractical Expectations - Going for 100% Test Automation
    2. Inappropriate Staff Selection and Poor Resource Allocation
    3. “One size fits all” Perspective

    4. Poor Test Automation Management
    5. Not Concentrating on Test Reports
    6. Selecting the Improper Automation Testing Tool

    7. Ignoring Parallel Execution
    8. False Estimations of Test Automation ROI

    1. Impractical Expectations - Going for 100% Test Automation

    One of the common test automation misconceptions is that it can be implemented in every test case. Although test automation can help free up your time for executing end-to-end regression tests repeatedly, the reality is that there are some aspects where human intervention and inspection would be mandatory.

    Automation can’t replace manual testing, just as robots can’t take over humans. This kind of testing is only appropriate for stable test cases that have the same operation to be performed repeatedly. When testing anything that is subject to rapid change, for instance, new functionalities, automation is not recommended.

    • Solution

    It’s essential to keep in mind that achieving 100% test automation is impossible. Instead, you can do a proper test case evaluation to identify where to automate and where to use manual testing. Automation is best for regression tests, integration tests, performance testing, etc., whereas manual testing can be used to test user experience, evaluate images, and more.

    Read more: How to choose Test Cases for Automation

    2. Inappropriate Staff Selection and Poor Resource Allocation

    Not every developer or QA engineer can carry out automation testing since designing the automation testing frameworks or writing test scripts call for a particular skill set. Choosing a tester who is not well-equipped with essential test automation skills and knowledge can decelerate the testing process and even create considerable blunders.

    Besides, hiring automation testers that are deficient in programming languages and automation tools used by your company is also a reason for your testing project failure as they cannot take the most advantage of automation testing. 

    • Solution

    You can take into account recruiting testers that have extensive technical knowledge. Even though the investment in hiring skillful QA experts is respectively high, the return is worthwhile since you won’t need to train from the beginning. Moreover, as software testers are the intermediates between developers and managers, they also should have adequate communication skills.

    Sparing some budget to periodically upskill your workforce is also worth considering. This will help enhance the efficiency and performance of automation testing. In addition, to harness the power of test automation effectively, your teams should have regular discussions or meetings about the testing process, tasks, and practices. 

    3. “One size fits all” Perspective

    If you think one automated test strategy can address all testing problems, you may have a misconception leading to the test project's failure. There is no "one size fits all" rule regarding automation testing since the demand, kind, and percentage of this approach vary depending on different requirements. Furthermore, there isn't an ideal percentage or proper figure for automation testing coverage that applies to all enterprise software testing strategies.

    • Solution

    By creating automated test cases that logically test one aspect, you can analyze the related problems quickly. Instead of combining numerous tests into a single test case, it is best practice to create automated test cases that are independent and self-contained. 

    Besides, to ensure the automated test execution is effective, you should tailor the test to your enterprise software by knowing what and how much to automate based on a number of different factors.

    4. Poor Test Automation Management


    Quite often, at the beginning of a testing phase, there are usually a few individuals running test cases automatically while the remaining stay mostly ignorant of their work. This lack of visibility is often due to improper management of the QA leaders since the automation strategies are not well-explained to the development team members. If the automation efforts are not informed clearly, possibility testers miss the chance to collaborate with the right developers to fix bugs immediately.

    Moreover, not managing your test automation efforts appropriately also reduces your ability to trace requirements and tests, track the testing processes well as the results, etc.

    • Solution

     Here are a few ways to help you manage the projects of automated testing more effectively:

    • Ensure all team members know which features are being tested automatically and how the automation framework has been configured. 
    • Ensure that the testing process and results of automation projects are clearly announced to every staff.
    • Have a clear test management plan to identify test requirements, the person in charge, defects during the test execution, etc.

    Get all the test management templates to boost your automation project’s productivity!

    5. Not Concentrating on Test Reports

    As many tests are carried out during the automation testing process, chances of failure are high, requiring you to analyze the test reports carefully. Failure to carefully examine the test reports or not paying enough attention to the test results can lead to the key faults going unaddressed and, ultimately, wasting time, resources, and efforts.

    Some automated tests succeed, and some may fail; hence, to unveil and solve any underlying issues in time, it’s mandatory to analyze the reasons behind certain tests’ failure.

    • Solution 

    Firstly, it’s essential to ensure that all QA engineers have profound knowledge of report analysis and abilities to find possible test deficits. Building a practice of frequent examining test reports among the testing team is worth considering. 

    Some aspects that you should concentrate on when examining the results:

    • Check whether automated tests are built accurately
    • Review individual test results 
    • Identify reasons behind failed tests by using your test automation platform’s logging, debugging, and reviewing functionalities.
    • Complete comprehensive test results analysis to understand why some tests fail more frequently than others.

    6. Selecting the Improper Automation Testing Tool

    With a wide range of automation tools out there, sometimes it becomes challenging to select the ideal one that can meet their testing requirements and the organization’s objectives. As every tool has particular capabilities, choosing the inappropriate one may decelerate your testing process or restrict you from achieving the testing goals. 

    Besides, every team has a budget, and some fix automation testers with particular testing skills. Hence, failing to shift through the chaff and picking out the right tool may cause costs, time, and resources-consuming. 

    • Solution

    Before jumping on to selecting a hyped tool, carefully line out some key considerations for automation tools, such as team budget, testers’ skills and knowledge, test report capabilities, etc. Then, you can decide what is expected from the tool by concerning the following questions:

    • Which platform and programming languages do the tool support?
    • Does the tool support CI/CD pipelines and external platforms integration?
    • Is it capable of connecting to and recovering data from relevant sources? 
    • Is there any technical support from the tool?

    If you need an all-in-one automation test platform for DevOps and continuous testing, Katalon will be a great choice. The tool will help you run test cases on most devices and browsers, such as desktops, websites, and mobile apps. It also provides advanced reporting, real-time monitoring, and fast feedback system, making it easier to track product quality.

    7. Ignoring Parallel Execution

    Generally, complicated test suites require more time to execute than anticipated, which compromises the test queue’ quality in your respective IDE and test automation framework. By executing the tests sequentially, you may create queue timeout issues, resulting in an abrupt halt in test cases. Since this approach will restrict you from proceeding to the next test cases (unless you’ve completed the previous task) or running your test cases simultaneously, it’s one of the reasons that make your projects fail.

    • Solution

    Parallel execution, as opposed to sequential execution, enables the simultaneous execution of numerous tests in various contexts. In modern testing solutions, this has been enhanced with the incorporation of cloud technology, which enables massively parallel execution. 

    However, automated testing could result in unexpected code interactions, making debugging the cause of the failure becomes challenging. Therefore, you need a robust reporting mechanism that provides specific insights into your test run.

    8. False Estimations of Test Automation ROI

    Regardless of your enterprise's type and your testing process, ROI is one of the main targets that every stakeholder strikes for. And irrespective of how much time and effort you invest into developing your test automation suites, if the ROI generated from them is not as per estimations, then their importance will be far lower than you anticipate. So, by calculating the right ROI at the beginning, your team will have an accurate testing strategy for deciding whether to run the test cases automatically or manually.

    • Solution

    While calculating ROI on test automation, there are several metrics that you should consider:  test coverage, speed of test, cost savings, and more. Here are tips to estimate the right test automation ROI:

    • Breaking down tasks: consider dividing the automation testing process into sprints with different tasks for better execution and reporting. Some main tasks of automation testing include planning, designing testing framework, implementation, analysis, and reporting.
    • Considering costs: investment costs often include one-time costs, visible costs, hidden costs, labor costs, etc.
    • Optimizing: Identify areas of automation testing that need to be optimized.

    Read more: How to calculate ROI of automation testing?

    Having a Robust Roadmap for Automation is a Key

    Automation testing can undoubtedly enhance the productivity of your company. The key here is how to effectively tackle all the obstacles and issues that come with it.

    As there are a number of potential snags that might prevent you from testing effectively, it’s crucial to analyze the common roadblocks first. Hence, before adopting the automation approach, having a proper automation plan regarding the business’s requirements, product’s time-to-market, team skills, and available budget will help you avoid catastrophic test automation failure while ensuring the costs spent.

    Regardless of being a team member or manager, keeping track of the test performance is essential to ensure the product's release velocity and enterprise software quality. This collection of Testing Project Templates can help you map out a test roadmap, review the testing process and reduce test fails.


    Download the FREE Test Management Templates