Automating Testing Across the Enterprise
A guide to implementing test automation practices throughout the entire organization.
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As software development and release becomes more complex than ever, organizations are starting to adopt practices that will streamline their workflows and enable them to support agile methodologies. Businesses are looking toward automation integration to provide these types of capabilities as well as help teams better perform across active projects.
However, the journey has numerous challenges that groups must overcome in order to use automation effectively. By looking at how automated testing is utilized across the enterprise, teams can leverage it to reap significant benefits and transform how they think about testing processes.
Create an Automation Strategy
The foundation of any good project is a solid execution strategy - without it, teams will not have any guidelines to measure progress against. The same goes for automation. However, rather than establishing new plan for each project, a single overarching strategy should be created. According to an Infosys white paper, if each program adopts its own automation framework and tools, this could be a challenge to scale to an enterprise level and ultimately end in failure. With a consistent and sustainable strategy, automating testing will be significantly easier to handle across the project's lifecycle and increase chances of success.
"Over a period of time, the inconsistent and unsustainable approach leads to obsolete automation suites which don't yield the results the team anticipated at the start of the automation exercise," the Infosys white paper stated. "Hence what is required is a deeper analysis of the organization's IT assets and a strategy focused on long term benefits."
Measure the Effort's Effectiveness
Once automated tests have been created, they require consistent maintenance - after all, today's cases may not be able to detect or mitigate the sophisticated new threat of tomorrow. In order to ensure that automated cases are performing up to expectations, QA must evaluate them to choose the correct test to automate and develop accurate automation processes. According to a Dell white paper, organizations can measure their effectiveness by looking at the number of features that automated testing covers, the amount of time saved and the number of automated tests that have been run. This information will give teams an idea of how to improve their automation efforts and what areas may need more support in the future.
Organizations can also use testing metrics to determine if their cases need any changes. If a vulnerability gets through a particular test, for example, this type of information can reveal a critical flaw in the test script. Teams should look at the kinds of defects identified, what tests are catching the issues - as well as which ones are missing them - and how the problem has historically been fixed. This data will enable groups to better support their automated test cases and patch any holes to better identify threats to the projects.
"A differentiated test automation strategy understands the importance of test data and priorities efficient management of data generated," Brillio stated. "With a strong test automation strategy, data generated can be effectively utilized to help testing teams perform checks efficiently and introduce innovative test case preparations."
Leverage Testing Tools
Organizations can find a significant number of advantages with automation, but they can extend these values by leveraging testing tools that integrate seamlessly with these efforts. Test management can be effective for teams looking to prioritize tasks and remain informed on every issue that appears. The solution also shows real-time updates, mitigating redundancies and encouraging stakeholders to collaborate across projects. With automation integrated into these systems, teams can be notified if an vulnerability is spotted, enabling them to react quickly and patch the issue.
"Testing tools can be open source or fee based, utilize graphical user interfaces or commandline interfaces, vary in functionality and usability, and so on," the Dell white paper stated. "Enterprises should select the most functional, cost-effective tool for a given task. They can use a prioritization matrix and compare weighted requirements with features to help determine appropriate testing tools."
With how big an enterprise testing team can be, it's important to have the right tools to ensure that everyone is on the same page and can automate their cases effectively. By following these tips, quality assurance teams will have better success automating their testing efforts across the enterprise space and improve their overall testing capabilities.
Published at DZone with permission of Sanjay Zalavadia, DZone MVB. See the original article here.
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