Difficulties faced in embracing automation testing in Agile Scrum Projects
Hurdle 1: Getting Approval From Top Management
There are many things within any department of the company that scrum Master certification in pune keep on asking to facilitate things that may not necessarily be approved due to constraints on budget. Software testers are well aware that automating a project will give benefit to both the IT and its business-like reduced time to market, increase coverage of test cases, precision, reliability, reducing the per hour costing, coming across issues much earlier in the automation cycle, etc. However, it’s very difficult for the testing team to make the finance department and QA stakeholders to allot the specific time and funding incorporating automation testing in projects.
We definitely agree with experts that automation can pay off one day by reaping its benefits. To convince the management that the financial advantages are immense you need to show them a simple ROI (Return On Investment) model for test automation, apart from the qualitative advantages achieved from automating the tests.
It is critical to also be very open with all stakeholders, don’t show them any rosy picture, and mention that automation may not require efforts upfront, because you and I both know that it surely does require a lot of efforts to automate scenarios initially but in the long run it should be worth its say!
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Hurdle 2: Tools and Technology – Its appropriate selection
There are many instances where teams get stuck or don’t get past this stage due to many reasons. The team may not have the required talent or expertise to use a particular tool to its depth or maybe the tool which they are looking for does not exist, as everybody is aware that no tool in the market today can offer 100% test coverage and moreover even if a particular tool does fulfill many of the total requirements they are expensive and its cost exceeds the budget allocated for the testing project.
There are some ways that you can go through if you lack the required know-how on how to use any particular tool effectively.
- Get one consultant to train you who is master in using the tool
- Try and take up some online or classroom program to gain expertise o the tool
- Try and create a customized tool tailor-made to suit your requirements from a development expert team and learn it.
- It may be always faster and simple to recruit someone who is an expert in the usage of the said tool for your automation project
Incidentally, it happens to be that the tool is not covering all scenarios you need you can consider the option of having a multi-tool solution. As everyone in this world is aware that its almost impossible to test everything and anything, but you can certainly device a tool that can perform most of the important tasks for you.
If the tool you figure out to be your one point solution but not fitting into your budget do a quick expense Vs advantage analysis and submit your proposal to your management for approval. You can back your case by putting forth an example where the loss incurred by a previous issue you had faced and show how much time and money you could have saved if you had this automated solution before.
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Hurdle 3: How to Start – Frame a Strategy
Now let’s assume you have got all the required support, skill set, infrastructure, and tools in place to start an automation. But the question is what do you really automate and how it is to be done. The tools are dumb they don’t tell you how to do it, they will get operated the way we operate them. You need to have one thing clear in your mind that you cannot automate everything so you must devise a strategy to do it. There are generally 2 ways to go on with it do an automation hierarchy/pyramid or risk-based automation
Risk-based automation testing gives high preference to testing components that are the most prone to failure and which also have the highest negative implications if said failure does occur, you should take into account financial implications, the possibilities of failure in consultation with the development team, service level agreement.
This analysis should give you a good insight into prioritizing the test cases to automate. The second approach which is generally highly recommended is to follow the automation pyramid. Take an analogy of an ice cream cone approach which results in the level of frustrations going higher because it focuses the automation at the UI level. And as you might be aware that UI level test cases are highly brittle and fragile which break easily. The solution would be to focus on automated unit tests in which you are assisting to avoid issues or terminate them almost instantly as you go through the SDLC.
Hurdle 4: Expectations from Automation to be more practical
You have to always remember one thing that how much ever-powerful the tool and the processes you follow are its never 100% complete. Test automation should not be considered as a remedy or a one-stop solution for all the issues found in the product or program or project on which you are applying it and should not be used in place of but there are certain automated tests which unearth issues which otherwise would have remained hidden.
Test automation is really just checking of systems automatically while human intervention is still required to perform the nonautomated tests. Also one should remember that the output of tests comes from the inputs you provide to properly test a scenario and not on the number of tests executed and also not on the frequency of tests run.
You have to make sure that your automation team and management are in sync and agree upon and understand clearly the possible results from your automation plan so that everyone’s frequency matches
Agile Scrum as you know is being practiced in the current world market of project management or product development or program management. Similar is also true for automation testing considering the large no of competition for each and every product. So each agile development wants to have as much automation as possible in their product life cycle as possible to speed up time to market.
With everyone planning on implementing automation into their companies, there are some hurdles related to automated testing that needs to be dealt with before you head-on with its implementation.
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- AMBER CARDOZA – SMC
Currently working as a Project Co-ordinator at ITC Infotech
- ANURADHA DILLIBABU – SMC
Was working as a Project Manager at WIPRO