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Monday, July 19, 2010

Some reasons why test automation projects fail, and some precautions to take to reduce these chances

One of the most important reasons why test automation projects fail is because not enough planning is give for such projects. In so many organizations, people talk about automation, decide that bringing in software automated testing will solve things for them. One of the prime reasons is that there is a drive towards bringing in software testing automation as a solution, looking at the benefits, but not keeping in mind that an organization needs to also plan carefully for software automation.
So, for example, when a company brings in software automation, it would need to do the following steps, else, it will face problems during the implementation, and could actually reach a situation where the organization considers that the project is a failure.
- Plan the required resources that you need for implementation of software automation, which can be different from the profile needed for testing purposes
- In the initial stages, the amount of effort needed for software testing automation would be more, since the company needs to keep at the regular manual testing and also start building up the effort needed to do the automation of its test cases and test plans
- In many cases, there is a piecemeal implementation, in terms of doing conversion of cases one by one to become automated, but a comprehensive framework is not employed for this purpose. Without this level of framework implementation, as the amount of automation increases, the maintenance of such test cases becomes more complicated and intensive
- In many cases, the organizations have not really thought through the needs for implementation in terms of creating a new sub-structure within the testing team for automation, and this creates strains since the black box testing and automation teams have different needs
- For doing automation, there is a need to even modify existing testing processes (including the plan for creating test plans and test cases), so that creating automation becomes an intrinsic part of the testing process
- Set expectations of the executives with respect to the time frames and effort needed for automation; I know a case where the senior manager wanted the implementation of an automation project without increases in resources and without existing testing getting impacted. This is an impossible task.

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