How to make the case for increased test automation resources

Rick Cruz explains how you can drive test automation in your organization.

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Image: DC Studio/Adobe Stock

At a time when the number of devices, vendors, and operating systems continues to grow exponentially, the quality of the user experience was more important than ever. In fact, milliseconds of page speed differences matter to consumers forming an opinion about a website. If an application doesn’t meet the user’s expectations, it’s likely to be reserved for something better.

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Aside from the development phase itself, meeting these expectations often depends on testing—especially automation testing. After all, companies that automate at least half of their tests not only have faster test cycles, they also find bugs earlier. But getting to the 50% mark is easier said than done.

Building a better business case for testing

In an ideal world, automation growth would come naturally with testing. But as engineers already know, developers often face tremendous resistance from certain stakeholders who are too busy chasing what’s trending to focus on company-wide improvements to the process.

This leaves little money or resources for test automation growth. Well, stakeholder bells and whistles are all well and good, but no amount of bells and whistles can cover up bad testing practices.

After all, testing is comparable to taxes. When purchasing a product, consumers must pay taxes at the point of purchase; There is no choice in the matter. The same applies to the development and implementation of your testing rollout. You can invest in whatever development you want, but there is a “tax” that must be paid before it goes to market and that is testing.

But as with taxes, it’s not uncommon for those involved to try to pay as little as possible when the bill comes. However, there are still ways to get the resources needed to support test automation growth. Here’s what to focus your attention on to get the approvals you need to extend your test automation.

How to argue for more resources for test automation

Collect data on software problems

There are incidents and then there are problems. Incidents are typically one-off disruptions limited to individual users. Problems, on the other hand, are the cause of incidents, but are of a broader nature. Incidents can certainly cause problems, but organizations will not resolve or mitigate risk without the right data to support automation testing.

Dive deeper into software problems. Review support tickets, capture reasons for incidents, and document known errors. There is likely a trend at work, and this information can encourage everyone involved to continue investing test automation Resources.

Emphasize the importance of front-end testing

Low adoption of a technology is often attributed to a lack of ongoing training and end-user support, leading to a gap in digital literacy. While this can certainly be the case, the other likely culprit can be the software or application itself. Problems or bugs in certain functionalities can make users not only avoid the software or application but abandon it altogether, opting instead to develop workarounds to get the job done.

Testing is a proven risk mitigation strategy. For example, front-end automation tests detect errors that can break the user interface. Acceptance testing, accessibility testing, unit testing, and regression testing are just some of the layers to include in a test automation framework to further expand your case for more resources.

Highlight tests related to sustainable practices

Test automation in and of itself can be a sustainable practice. When organizations automate testing, not much effort is required aside from regular post-implementation maintenance or upgrades. However, this theory can quickly go out the window without the proper controls. Achieving truly sustainable test automation often starts with keeping automated test scripts simple. In other words, don’t overcomplicate the coding for test scenarios. Simplify scripts by focusing on one task or path at a time.

Also make sure these scripts are robust. Should an application or functionality change, maintenance can become overwhelming. More importantly, you synchronize tests on critical components of the application instead of using wait statements that ensure a certain condition is met.

When all else fails, lean on the simple fact that the competition is already using test automation to improve the quality of user experience and reduce the time it takes to get a product to market. Without automation testing, the likelihood of keeping up with the rate of change drops exponentially.

Rick Cruz

As Director of Applications, Information and Testing Solutions for CTG in North America, Rick Cruz has leadership responsibility for the ongoing development of CTGAIS and Testing offerings and teams to deliver innovative, global services that help clients strategically address their business challenges.

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