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Test automation returns

This is our first post from the “Test Automation Cycle”. The article series contains 6 pieces of writing telling about:

  • test automation returns
  • test automation risks
  • test automation process overview

Usually, the expected benefit of test automation is, first and foremost, the reduction of costs. However, it would be a serious mistake to concentrate only on this aspect. It`s no doubt that automation is a proven way to achieve a high return on investment savings, but there are also other aspects associated with automation ROI.

Automation brings benefits because automated tests run quickly, can be run anywhere and are conditionally free. And when you start estimating automation ROI consider some major points. Let`s go through each of them, starting with economic effect.

Economic effect

In fact, automation really pays its way. The costs get reduced as automated tests are reused several times. The QA team members utilize the tests they had written once replacing useless manual work.

Scope optimization

Automation covers quite a substantial part of work. When automated tests are under the process, they release tester`s time. Hence, a tester can cover a more sophisticated project part with manual tests. Due to this approach, the team can deal with a bigger scope.

Quality improvement

Automated tests being launched many times on different steps of the software development cycle improve product quality. For example:

  • On the development step automation tests are run to check integration after development work, it`s done on a regular basis. Test execution can be done after each commit with the same goal as for nightly builds.
  • Tests can be executed by developers before delivery to QA department for further testing. This approach ensures concentrating on useful coverage so QA doesn’t need to spend time for accept a particular build for testing but concentrates on useful areas.

Moreover, the automated tests eliminate possible human mistakes, do not ignore or overlook the things that a real person can.

Test duration decreases

As automated tests are much FASTER than manual work, the duration of a test cycle decreases accelerating Time-to-market. Test automation is also a great advantage as it decreases the regression cycle, when hot fixes or patches need to be applied to a production platform.

The arguments for automation can often be entangled and forcible. Moreover, accurate calculation of automation effectiveness requires much effort and a measurable software development process, though sometimes it can be hard on every project.

In my next article I`ll give a detailed overview on metrics on test automation returns.

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