How to Implement a Software Test Automation Strategy for Optimal Release Speed and Quality
Introducing automation to your software testing cycle benefits your company in many ways. For example, you can streamline business processes and expand your testing coverage. Despite the inherent benefits, companies are bound to face a few hurdles if they try to introduce test automation without a solid strategy. The article below will walk you through a few steps you can take to devise a software test automation strategy for maximum release velocity.
Why do companies need a software test automation strategy?
The software industry is fast-paced. For companies to remain competitive and innovative, they must adapt to upgrades and advancements. The growing pains that come along with digital transformation are inevitable. But they can be mitigated by strategic implementation and organizational readiness. A software test automation strategy should serve the purpose of a roadmap to swift, successful deployment.
Meeting End-User Expectations
As technology grows and evolves, so do users’ expectations. Generally, they prioritize three elements:
- Speed. Users want fast access to new features and a product that runs quickly in production. Now that the technology exists to provide users with lightning-fast load times and unproblematic updates, there’s no excuse not to use it. Your company’s competitive edge depends on it.
- Quality. Overall quality includes the quality of your data, the design of your product, and how well your software supports that design. Sometimes, these criteria are referred to as “fitness for purpose.”
- Experience. You should prioritize end users (and their experience with the product) throughout the testing process. Bad UX can be detrimental not only to the product but also to brand image. End-to-end testing can help companies take a step back and observe the life cycle of a system from start to finish for a more comprehensive perspective.
3 Tips for Devising an Effective Test Automation Strategy
Developing a software test automation strategy can be tricky. Every company’s objectives and technical capabilities differ, so what works for one may not work for another. However, there are some best practices that any company can use as a starting point. Fine-tuning these methods to fit your particular needs will help you devise an optimal software test automation strategy.
Bridge the Gap with DevOps Methodologies
One of the best things you can do to prepare for a digital transformation of any kind is to embrace DevOps practices. DevOps has transformed the software development lifecycle by:
- Strengthening communications. The core principle behind DevOps is the effective translation of business objectives into technical requirements. DevOps workflows support effective collaboration by uniting the teams in charge of each aspect. When the development and operational departments understand each other’s intentions, they can work together.
- Introducing transparency to business processes. In addition to enhancing communications, a software test automation strategy built around DevOps increases business process transparency. For example, a DevOps dashboard helps project members track progress and view data in a digestible format, regardless of technical skill levels.
Evaluate Data Quality
Often, automation implementation projects fail due to data discrepancies. The technology you use is only as good as the data you feed it. Test automation solutions like Copado Robotic Testing use data to predict release quality, evaluate the quality of test metrics, and repurpose previously created test cases. It’s essential to ensure that your data’s source, storage, and maintenance are up to standards. Otherwise, your team will be funneling resources into avoidable rewrites.
Build a Testing Toolkit
The tools you choose to use for your test automation strategy play a crucial role in its success. Your company may already use specific tools for DevOps infrastructure or enterprise resource planning (ERP). Any new software will need to work alongside your existing tech stack.
Although every company’s infrastructure is unique, certain elements benefit businesses of all kinds. The checklist below outlines a few of the features that will be most supportive to your software test automation strategy.
- Low-code or no-code functionalities. Low-code automation tools allow people without extensive knowledge to participate in testing. For example, automation tools for quality assurance (QA) teams allow them to write and run their own test scripts without years of coding experience. No-code tools require zero coding knowledge — allowing non-coders to create, run, and maintain tests.
- Intelligent automation. Your testing solution should go beyond just automating routine tasks. It should be able to report potential defects, take automatic screenshots of errors, and predict the quality of upcoming releases.
- High-level integration capabilities. Most modern businesses use a combination of business process management tools like Salesforce nCino. Make sure the automation solution you choose is built to support each of the applications your business relies on.
Copado Robotic Testing is the leader in low-code and no-code testing tools for industry leaders like Salesforce and SAP.