How to Plan an Effective Test Automation in Agile Project
When you know how to achieve automation in a planned and efficient way, you can help your team achieve its goals with higher quality at an even faster speed.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
If I may borrow Napoleon Hill’s words, “plan your work and work your plan” — because nothing can be achieved without proper planning. Things become more difficult when you are working in an Agile model, as you need to be very efficient, and at the same time, you need to be very fast. That is why people say that Agile is a simple as well as a complex process to follow.
At Quovantis Technologies, we follow Lean principles of Scrum to develop products iteratively. Following Agile has made us more effective in every phase of project development, including automation testing.
I found out that automating the testing processes helps a lot with projects having a substantial scope. It saves a lot of productive hours while making the process quick to iterate.
To plan effective automation, we should plan thoughtfully keeping the following methods in mind.
Features of Automation
The most important thing to consider before starting with the automation is to the look for the features that will be fruitful when we're doing automation. Some of the tests that can be automated are the following:
- Tests that need multiple and tedious data inputs.
- Tests for frequently used functionalities.
- Tests that take a lot of manual effort.
- Tests that run on several different hardware, software platforms, or configurations.
- Tests that are done for the purpose of sanity after the deployment on production.
Choose the Most Suitable Automation Framework
After deciding the tests that should be targeted for automation, the next thing that comes into play is the framework design.
Some of the frameworks that can be implemented for automation are the following.
A data-driven testing framework helps the user distinguish the test script logic and the test data from each other. The test data are stored separately in external databases such as XML files, Excel files, CSV files, etc. Whenever there is a scenario in which a particular functionality is to be tested for a different set of data, a data-driven framework helps a lot.
This is an extension of data-driven framework in which, besides the test data, a certain set of code is also put separately into an external data file and the specific keywords are used to perform specific actions on the application.
The framework divides the entire tests into a number of logical and isolated modules. For each module, we have a separate and independent test case. The combination of these test cases represents a test for a larger module.
A hybrid framework is a combination of more than one of the above-mentioned frameworks. It leverages the benefits of all the frameworks.
So, which framework should you choose? Well, it depends on the project requirements. However, some important things to keep in mind before selecting a particular framework are that the framework should be clear and understandable, should require less maintenance and should be scalable.
Feedback From the Team
Continuous feedback is always helpful in everything. The same goes for automation. It is highly recommended that the person who is working on the automation should discuss the approach that he/she is planning for automation with the team as every team member can come up with many other features which can also be targeted to be automated. Besides the features, team members can also come up with different approaches to automate different scenarios. So the feedback is very valuable.
Sprint Targets Are the Most Important
It is very important to keep in mind the Sprint targets, as those should not be affected by the efforts that are put in automation. The Sprint targets come first, and then the automation. Although the person has to bear some pain during the initial Sprints for the implementation of automation, they eventually make life simpler for the person and help the whole team to achieve Sprint targets more comfortably.
These are some of the key points that can definitely help developers achieve automation in a much more planned and efficient way that helps the team in achieving its goals with higher quality at an even faster speed.
Published at DZone with permission of Sameer Arora. See the original article here.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.