Automation, yes, but not without method !

“Nowadays, a brand’s reputation heavily depends on the quality of the digital experience it provides to its customers”, the presence of bugs is not an option. It is in these words that Doron Reuveni, CEO of Applause, justified the launch of a new tool last month: the Applause Test Automation. A welcome innovation in a growing market.

Why automate?

Some tests are often tedious, in mismatch with the current development imperatives. The realization of regression testing or large combinatorial testing is as repetitive as time consuming. A solution? Automation. An automated tool is able to manage, design, implement and test a wide range of tests, provided that they are systematic and repetitive.

However, the advent of automation does not spell the end of human testing. The two go hand in hand and contribute to the development of a richer and more effective testing structure. After automated testing, human testing remains an inescapable step, the only one able to confront the product with a complex use in real-life conditions.

Automation provides a host of benefits. Reuse helps reducing delivery times for tests by reusing existing schemas. Automation becomes synonymous with saving time and therefore money. Automate is the guarantee for companies of an increased productivity. But too often, leaders invest headlong into an armada of sophisticated tools, regardless of the methodology that accompanies them. Productivity gains seem important, the return on investment looks promising and yet the result does not meet expectations. The failure, however, is simple to avoid.

Automation: master the tool before using it.

Successful automation depends on good conditions and a good timing. Too early, the company will not be ready and the implementation is likely to be tedious. Too late, the company has already lost its potential gains.

But automation is not only an investment, it is also practices and methodologies that shall be implemented. How to profit from a tool when one does not know how to use it? Slow appropriation by teams, decline in productivity, excessive TCO are pitfalls that a good implementation would have avoided.

The implementation of a new tool absolutely must follow and not precede the methodology that accompanies it.

Successful automation is above all learn to automate, prepare the ground and employees to new practices to standardize and structure the testing process. It is these specific recipes, inserted into the project methodology, will enable the company to gain better control of its tools.

If pre-standardization of testing is essential, it does not mean difficult to implement. The company can monitor and adjust standard methods like TMAP which aim at structuring processes. Equipped with precise test scenarios, comprehensive training guides for employees and detailed sub-processes, the company will prepare to welcome its new tool. It is this new methodology, tested and adapted, which can make the most of automation.