How to make the case for increased test automation resources

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

Two programmers holding laptop with coding interface walking to desk and sitting down
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 has never been more important. In fact, the millisecond difference in page speed time is important to consumers forming an opinion about a website. If an app doesn’t meet user expectations, it’s likely to be pushed aside for something better.

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In addition to the development phase itself, meeting those expectations often depends on testing, particularly test automation. After all, companies that automate at least half of their testing not only have faster test cycles, they also find bugs sooner. But getting to that 50% mark is easier said than done.

Building a better business case for testing

In an ideal world, the growth of test automation would happen naturally. But, as techies already know, developers often experience a lot of pushback from certain stakeholders who are too busy chasing the hot stuff to focus on enterprise-wide process improvements.

This leaves little money or resources for test automation growth. Now, bells and whistles from stakeholders are all very well, but no amount of glare can cover up poor testing practices.

After all, tests are similar to taxes. When buying a product, consumers must pay taxes at the point of purchase; there is no choice in the matter. The same is true for the development and deployment of your test release. You can invest in all the development you want, but you have to pay a “tax” before it hits the market, and that’s the proof.

But as with taxes, it’s not uncommon for stakeholders to try to pay as little as possible when the bill arrives. However, there are still ways to obtain the necessary resources to support the growth of test automation. This is where you need to focus to get the approvals you need to expand your test automation.

How to make the case for increased test automation resources

Collect data on software problems

There are incidents, and then there are problems. Incidents tend to be single outages limited to single users. Problems, on the other hand, are the cause of incidents, but they are more far-reaching in nature. Incidents can certainly become problems, but companies will not reach resolution or mitigate risk without adequate data to support automation testing.

Dig deeper into software issues. Review support tickets, capture reasons for incidents, and document known errors. There is likely to be a trend at work, and that information may encourage all interested parties to invest in more test automation means.

Emphasize the importance of front-end testing

Low adoption of any technology is often attributed to a lack of ongoing end-user training and support, leading to a digital literacy gap. While that may be the case, the other possible culprit may be the software or the app itself. Problems or bugs in certain functionality may cause users to not only avoid the software or application, but abandon it altogether, choosing instead to develop workarounds to accomplish the task.

Testing is a proven strategy to mitigate risk. For example, front-end automation tests will catch bugs that can break the user interface. Acceptance testing, accessibility testing, unit testing, and regression testing are just a few of the levels that can be included in a test automation framework to further build your case for more resources.

Highlight evidence in relation to sustainable practices

Test automation itself can be a sustainable practice. When companies automate testing, not much effort is needed beyond regular maintenance or updates once implemented. However, that theory can quickly fade without proper controls in place. 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. If an app or functionality changes, maintenance can become overwhelming. More importantly, synchronize tests on critical components of the application instead of using wait statements that guarantee that a certain condition is met.

If all else fails, lean on the simple fact that your competition already relies on test automation to improve the quality of the user experience and speed up the time it takes to bring a product to market. Without automation testing, the probability of keeping up with the pace of change decreases exponentially.

rick cross

As Director of Application and Information Solutions and Test Solutions for CTG in North America, Rick Cruz has executive responsibility for the continued development of CTGAIS AIS and Testing offers and teams to provide innovative global services that help clients strategically address their business challenges.

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