Automation – A Panacea for all Testing Problems’

Date:   Tuesday , May 03, 2011

A common belief which runs across organizations adopting test automation tools and methodologies for achieving cost benefits and better quality assurance activities. With the current dynamic business landscape forcing organizations to look towards adopting faster and better testing methodologies, which guarantee better return on investment; test automation is a key step, which enables those to move towards a mature level of quality assurance. Studies indicate a saving of over 50 percent in time and effort through carrying out a wellplanned test automation activity.

However, test automation is not a silver bullet. Statistics indicate that 63 percent of test automation projects fail due to multitude of factors ranging from lack of proper understanding of automation needs, improper evaluation of applications for automation suitability; to incorrect tool selection process, improper generation of automation scripts and test execution. It is a well known fact that an error undetected during earlier stages of development has an exponential impact in terms of correction costs towards later stages – making it all the more necessary to have robust automated testing mechanisms to detect errors during earlier stages.

Through automation, organizations look towards increasing their test coverage, reducing time and effort for carrying out test execution through reusability of scripts and repeatability across project test cycles. Although test automation can help you achieve all this and more, the underlying criterion is for an automation strategy that best fits the requirements of your organization. How would you like a solution that evaluates the maturity of your automation processes and chalks out a roadmap that puts you on the path to achieving the business objectives that you have envisaged?

Momentum Test Automation Maturity Assessment from Collabera
Momentum Test Automation Maturity Assessment helps bridge the gap between your current state of test automation and the desired state. It provides you an understanding of what level of test automation maturity you are at and what it takes for you to move onto the more desired levels. It evaluates your automation processes, identifies the existing gaps, evaluates the automation tools and their mapping onto your applications and provides an estimate of the cost benefits. It goes a step further by carrying out a proof of concept (POC) exercise to understand the ideal tool and framework mix which can be used to automate testing of your applications.

The maturity levels range across Stage 1 – Entry: testing done on a manual basis with minimal tools (mainly open source without due diligence)
Stage 2 – Intermediate: testing carried out on an adhoc basis with tools chosen based on minimal understanding of application landscape.

Stage 3 – Mature – testing carried out after proper feasibility study (application suitability, tool feasibility, technical and financial feasibility).

Stage 4 – Leader: the highest maturity level which involves due diligence across all stages right from conducting feasibility studies to executing through innovative approaches like keyword driven and hybrid models.

The approach is incremental and includes a roadmap for intermediate milestones. However, the continuous focus is on achieving the ideal maturity level. The approach to the assessment workshop is detailed below:
* Understand problem areas and expectations of the stakeholders
* Analyze current testing infrastructure, automation tools, and environment
* Map the workflow across various stages from feasibility analysis to tool selection and execution
* Collection of various artifacts, templates, quality gates, reports – including test scripts, test cases, tool execution reports etc
* Technical assessment and gap analysis
* Compilation and presentation of the findings of the workshop
* Maturity level mapping

Assessment Workshop – Key Stages
Our engagement begins with clearly understanding the current processes, application and tool landscape. Our initial workshop will take place with all key stakeholders, and will arrive at an understanding of application characteristics, current workflow of test automation, business drivers for change and key measurement criteria.

Assessment of each of these critical areas leads to two pronged action steps – the first one outlining the level of maturity of your organization and the second one suggesting the ideal ‘application – test tool’ combination. On one hand, it helps your organization understand the applications that can be automated and the tool that is ideally suited to automate these applications (through a proof of concept exercise); and on the other hand it provides steps and assistance in moving from a traditional record and playback mode of execution to a more value added hybrid approach.

Collabera also helps you accelerate to the desired future state by designing a solution blueprint – Momentum Matrix an exhaustive plan for action to ensure your test automation processes mature by leveraging our best practices and proven methodologies.

“A wellplanned and executed test automation strategy reduces cost, ensures quality of services and gives flexibility”, says Anil K Gutta, Head, Testing Practice at Collabera.

The Momentum test automation maturity assessment focuses on the “as is” and gives you a clear picture of your current state of automation. Understanding your current level of test automation maturity, it catapults you onto higher levels by helping you analyze and reform your existing approach. Through our unique approach, we uncover even the deepest, most remote causeandeffect relationships throughout your extended testing organization. The assessment puts you on the fast track to test automation maturity and helps revitalize your business by accelerating your testing operations.

The author is Senior Manager - Testing, Collabera