Test automation is a powerful and extremely useful tool, with the potential to save businesses time and money by automating everyday tasks. However, it is not without its risks and challenges. There is a theory that most test automation projects fail. But specialists of a professional Quality Assurance company Cherish DEV, agree only partially. Their projects never fail.
Such failures are the result of careless attitude towards test automation and QA in general. The manifestation of such an attitude and accordingly failure are multifaceted and can vary, but they all share the same underlying theme: a lack of proper planning and strategy. To ensure successful test automation projects, businesses must understand the reasons why most projects fail and take the proper steps to avoid them. In this article, we’ll discuss why test automation projects fail and how businesses can ensure success. Read it to prevent mistakes in your test automation!
Lack of attention to planning as the main reason for failure.
Our engineers always say that QA is all about planning. If you don’t devote much time to planning, be ready for failure. Without proper planning, the test automation project can be doomed from the start. Without a clear plan for the test automation project, it is easy to get lost in the process, and it can become costly to fix mistakes that were made due to the lack of planning. When planning a test automation project, it is vital to determine the scope of the project, the desired outcomes, and the timeline for completion. It is also important to ensure that everyone involved in the project understands the goals and objectives and has the resources they need to be successful.
What problems can appear during the planning process?
Let’s have a look at the possible planning process:
- Communication with customers — We build the communication process in such a way as to interact with the customer as efficiently as possible throughout the entire automation. However, in the initial stages, this communication is extremely important. We will not start work until we understand the requirements of the customer 100%. Basic moments:
-expected tools, frameworks, etc.
The problem at this stage: ineffective communication. Often QA-specialists hold their ground, believing that the customer does not understand anything. Or the customer believes that he/she knows best what the product needs. The truth is always somewhere in the middle. A good test automation engineer always knows how to listen, hear and argue his position.
- Analysis — Calculate money, time and resources. We care for our customers. That’s why we calculate not only expenses, but ROI as well.
The problem at this stage: a lack of experience or an enormous desire to take on a project can cause QA professionals to overestimate their strengths. Lack of resources will lead to later releases. A product released later will bring in less money.
- Recruiting or Training
This process is not really about planning, because it includes obvious practical actions. However, this is still preparation for automation. Not always the specialists available on the payroll possess all the skills and tools necessary for the project. It is necessary either to hire employees with the necessary competencies, or to train existing engineers
The problem at this stage: there is a practice of learning during the process. They simply put the automation engineer in front of the fact that now he/she is doing this. Self-study takes a lot of time and, moreover, is not always successful.
- Tools selection
Selecting the ideal automation tool is a key factor in achieving effective automated testing. This is one of the most challenging steps to take preceding automation. Start by defining the demands of the projects. Subsequently, review the different tools and their features.
The problem at this stage: often expensive tools have insufficient functionality for the project and do not have support. It is important to note that cost does not always equate to quality. When selecting a tool, it is imperative to consider the expected outcomes and ensure that the degree of efficacy is sufficient to meet those expectations.
- What are the reasons to fail during the actual automation?
Typically, the automation process includes the following steps: Automation Testing Framework development – Scripts writing – Reporting – Scripts maintenance. Let’s look at what problems can arise at these stages!
- Difficulty in Writing Automated Test Scripts
Automated testing requires extensive programming knowledge and technical skills which many Quality Assurance professionals lack. It also requires a deep understanding of the application or system under test, and how to use automation tools which can make writing automated tests a complex task. Additionally, automated tests can be difficult to maintain over time as software updates and changes are made to the application. As a result, writing automated test scripts can often be a daunting task, and one that can easily lead to test automation projects failing.
- Poor Test Data Preparation
Test data are critical for carrying out meaningful tests and providing accurate results. However, without proper data creation and preparation, it can lead to unreliable test results and not a comprehensive test suite. For successful test automation projects, it is important to have well-structured test data and ensure that the test data is in a valid format, is complete and up-to-date, and the access to it is easy. Additionally, a test data repository serve as data storage. Data maintenance is easy with them..
- Insufficient Test Coverage
It is important to have adequate test coverage in order to ensure that all the features and functionalities of the application are tested. Without sufficient test coverage, the automation process will not be able to identify all the bugs in the system and will not be able to provide accurate results. Inadequate test coverage can also lead to a lack of confidence in the automated tests, resulting in fewer tests being executed and an increased risk of software bugs.
- Attempts to automate what is best left to manual testers
Testing non-critical features and visual conformance is not always worth automation. A lot of resources will be spent on automation that will never pay off. In addition, for different projects there are different types of testing that should not be automated. Careful analysis will help to recognize them.
There are numerous reasons why test automation projects fail, from a lack of experience and knowledge to a lack of proper planning and execution. To ensure success, organizations should take the time to recognize the success factors and ensure that their test automation project is properly planned, designed, and executed. By doing so, organizations can increase their chances of successfully automating their tests and achieving their desired results.