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6 Ways to Make Test Automation Successful in Agile Environment

February 13, 2020

6 Ways to Make Test Automation Successful in Agile Environment

The agile development approach is iterative and works through successful collaboration between cross functional teams. It adds to the possibility of mitigating risks, increasing predictability of the application performance while reducing the time-to-market and smoother vendor management.

With increasing adoption of agile development approach, software enterprises are rapidly switching to automation testing to cope with continuous development and integration on one side and integration on the other side along with continuous sprint-wise releases.

Testing is an integral part of product engineering. Methods such as test automation help meets the dynamic demands of the agile environment by delivering faster and efficient results

Although test automation helps enterprises in automating critical, repetitive and lengthy test processes, things can quickly turn south if meticulous planning isn’t done right at the beginning itself. A carefully test automation strategy through appropriate understanding and analysis must be arrived at.

It’s important to first understand which test cases should be automated.

  •   Mundane technical tasks difficult to perform manually
  •   Test cases repeated on a regular basis
  •   Critical scenarios where risk must be mitigated   

Once, we understand which test cases can be automated, we can then proceed with the right approach to test automation that gives effective results. Here we discuss 6 ways to help you make your test automation work successfully in the agile environment.

1. Conduct Parallel Testing
Agile development is all about continuous releases in a number of iterations which is the reason test automation team often miss out on quality objectives. In cases where there are more sprints requiring fixing, it becomes even more difficult to devote time identifying, fixing and testing each iteration. This is why it is important to allocate proper time for testing and start conducting test automation in parallel to development cycles to avoid lags. Conducting parallel testing also will help the team become more productive and respond the requirements quickly, avoiding last minute rushes. Moreover, it will also help them invest time in exploratory testing, which requires manual efforts.

2. Develop Quality Test Scripts
Another thing that testers need to do is to develop quality test scripts considering regression testing cycles. By this, we mean that the scripts should be made flexible to accommodate regression testing requirements while meeting the criteria as mentioned below:

  • Correctness
  • Versioning
  • Maintainability
  • Portability
  • Integrity
  • Performance

The objective behind this is to execute smoother and correct testing, especially regression testing without any intervention from the testers. If the test scripts are of sound and stable, the testing team can complete the regression test cycle without making unnecessary changes and can also avail the benefits of performance, speed, and accuracy.

3. Adopt DevOps
Like you all know DevOps is a principal of merging the Development, Testing, and Operations role. You can tap the benefits of collaboration and cross-functioning from the same team, which enhances the speed and software delivery process. Since DevOps promotes shared working, development, integration and testing happen in real-time, which makes the entire agile cycle more efficient.

4. Get the Right Automation Tool
Further, it is important to select the right test automation tool and for this, you must invest enough time in evaluating the capabilities of the tool. Ideally, before purchasing any test automation tool, you must ensure it meets certain basic criteria or features to ensure the success of the test automation program. Listed below are few ideal features that every test automation tool must have regardless of the type of testing to be performed:

  • The tool should be OS friendly in that the number of operating systems it supports, the better it is for teams to perform testing.
  • It should be capable of meeting end-to-end testing requirements.
  • The tool should be intuitive, meaning it should come with easy-to-understand UI, navigation, and functionality. The user-friendliness of the tool will determine how easily a user can get up and ready with test automation.
  • The tool should offer integration support with cross-functional tools like bug tracking tools, test management tools, continuous integrations, etc.
  • It should be within the company’s budget and should offer features as per its pricing.
  • The tool you choose should be robust and provide quick results so that testers can respond to the test results quickly

5. Keep a Check on Development Environment
It is also important for testing teams to keep a check of the development environment which may consist of simple to complex virtual machines and cloud environments that work with external database and services. A bug or problem cannot always lie within the application. Sometimes, it can also appear because of the environment, network conditions, configuration, service availability and backend database. Hence, understanding of the actual development environment will help the teams to focus on the achieving quality rather than juggling to find the root cause of the problem since they are already aware of the environment along with its strength and weaknesses.

6. Keep Your Tests Small & Lean
Lastly, you need to make sure that your test cases are small and lean. This will help in attaching unnecessary test data which add no value to the test outcomes. Keeping smaller test cases will also help in making quick changes as per regression requirements. Moreover, it reduces the maintenance of large test suites, which contain different codes, configuration, and scenarios, thereby reducing the overall load on the development environment.

Following the above-listed ways, you can make your test automation not only successful but more efficient. At the same time, performing testing on a continuous basis can make your test automation program really effective in the agile environment.

What are your thoughts? Share in the comments section below.

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