Do you want to automate more and spend less? If you are like us, or any of our customers, then of course you do. Increasing your level of test automation can help to increase test coverage, release software faster, and reduce risk. The beauty of automation is the more you need to use it, the better your return on investment.
We all know the theory by heart. But have you ever felt frustrated by how simple it sounds to start with test automation compared to how challenging it becomes when you move to the implementation phase? We sure did! And if you are reading this article you have probably felt that way, too!
In our team, we are lucky to have very experienced automation engineers from all over the world. In the past, when it came to creating test automation frameworks, we would master the latest tools in the market and implement them in more and more agile ways. However, no matter what tool we used we often ended up frustrated for not reaching the level of test automation we aimed for.
It’s probably a familiar story, but why is that?
Business Process Documentation is your operational blueprint
A lack of high-quality business process documentation on IT projects is one of the major issues. One of the minimum requirements for building an effective test automation solution is knowing what to test. So why is it unusual to have high-quality documentation? Agile says you need it less and less. But how do you align business requirements and IT, or how do you transfer process knowledge when people leave or are on holiday? Documenting processes manually and taking screenshots is time-consuming and, let’s face it, just plain sucks. Still, process documentation is vital to any operation.
Not only is it a high effort to manually document your business processes. Before long your processes change: your documentation becomes outdated and the whole circus has to start again!
We decided to take action. We gathered some of the brightest quality assurance engineers, business analysts, developers, and project managers for several coffee-fueled brainstorming sessions with the mission to solve this problem.
It took months of research, lots of coffee, and plenty of pizza, and finally Copado (formerly Qualibrate) was born.
After four years of being released in the wild, we are happy to report that many companies, like PVH Corp. (brand owner of Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein), are already using Copado to save 80% of resources in their quality assurance activities.
Now we would like to explain to you the concept behind Copado.
The challenge of software implementation
Let’s start by analyzing more in detail the problem that most organizations, approaching test automation, are facing. Spending enough time on developing the problem statement at the beginning of the Copado project, helped us to establish the purpose and goals and allow for an innovative approach to a problem as old as IT.
Here is a common scenario our customers face when it comes to building, upgrading, migrating and maintaining their software. Each feature requires functional or business analysts to prepare some kind of documentation to explain what it is they want. A test analyst will then evaluate the different test scenarios that, if executed successfully, will ensure the integrity of the application under test. Some organizations might be mature enough to have an automated testing solution. In this case, quality assurance engineers will build automated tests and frameworks aimed at testing more functionalities more frequently. Finally, just before those changes will be deployed into production, the end-users will need to be trained on how to use that system and be informed about the changes.
On a traditional implementation, we see organizations adopting 3 or 4 different tools to support this process. E.g. a spreadsheet, a test management tool, a test automation tool. Each tool works in a very specific way and produces different formats of deliverables. Maintaining those deliverables is challenging and time-consuming. It is one of the first things that stop when the project comes under time or budget pressure, impacting quality. We strongly believe this is a very inefficient process and one of the main problems in organizations trying to build mission-critical IT systems.
We believe that quality goes beyond testing. To us, quality means having great documentation, efficient ways to test both manually and automated, as well as having smart training material for end-users. Most importantly, these assets should be easy to create and maintain because, as we’ve all seen, if they are not then it just doesn’t happen.
Our solution: Copado
That is why we decided to invent Copado: to optimize the way teams document, test, and train end-users on IT projects.
With Copado anyone can record a Business Process and, when finalized, the recording outputs four deliverables:
- Business Process Documentation
- Accelerated Manual Testing (awesome for user acceptance testing)
- Automated Testing (great for regression testing)
- End-user Training
Instead of 3 or 4 different tools for documentation, testing, and training, we introduce 1. Already an efficiency gain. Whenever you need to maintain your process, you update the recording once and all 4 deliverables will be updated automatically. Reducing the maintenance across the team and making sure all your quality assets are up to date.
Therefore, our value proposition is quite straightforward: all your team needs, in one place. Run test automation, and have lean business process documentation and training in minutes.