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How to Build a ‘best in class’ Software Test Automation Solution

Written by Jim Chickadel, QA Practice Director, DecisivEdge™

Building a superior test automation solution is no easy task.  It takes a lot of planning, strategizing, analyzing options, and making decisions on the front end to ensure success once it is executed by your team.  As some people might like to think, it is not a set it and forget it discipline. Yes, test automation can improve efficiencies in the short run, but as requirements change, enhancements to the software are made, or competition reduces your “time to market”, changes to your test automation scripts will need to occur and must be fast.

In this blog post, I wanted to outline five key components of what I would view as a “best in class” test automation solution. Here they are:

1. Technology Component:

  • Automation Solution – Technical solution should be easily mastered by new associates
  • API/Web Service Testing – Automation scripts cover more than just UI functionality
  • Multi-Platform – Automation scripts test end-to-end and cross platform applications

2. Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment Component:

  • CI/CD Process – Automation Tests must be integrated in the CI/CD Process
  • Automation Support – Relatively free from continual developer intervention  
  • Speed of Delivery – Test automation keeps pace with your velocity of software changes

3. Resource Component:

  • Current Resources – Realistically evaluate if they’re capable of  achieving your goals
  • Acquiring New Talent – Easily able to find the right skilled resources for your solution
  • Retaining Talent – Consistently able to hang onto good automation experts

4. Cost Component:

  • Cost vs. Benefits – Realizing expected ROI from test automation
  • Maintenance Costs – Maintenance costs acceptably under control
  • Resource Costs – Effectively managing team size and cost of automation resources

5. Quality Component:

  • Test Coverage – Appropriately achieving or exceeding quality expectations
  • Maintenance – Test cases are easily maintained and can keep up with software changes
  • Risk Based Testing – Sufficiently covering or mitigating business risk exposure

Even if you put in practice 75-80% of these components and their subsets, you’re well on your way to a ‘best in class’ software test automation solution.  

I hope this post was insightful.  If you would like to connect with me to talk about Test Automation and how we can help, please email me at jim.chickadel@decisivedge.com or call 302-299-1570 x415.  To learn more about our Test Automation practice, please visit  https://www.decisivedge.com/tricentis-partner/.

About the Author:

Jim Chickadel has over 25 years of leadership experience in the areas of Quality Assurance, Project Management and Software Development.

Jim’s previous leadership positions include SVP and Sr. Director of Systems Development for several prestigious fortune 100 financial institutions such as JPMorgan, Chase Manhattan Bank, MBNA America and Bank of America. He is currently a Senior Vice President leading the Quality Assurance Practice for DecisivEdge.

Jim holds a Master’s in Accounting and a BS in Business Administration with a minor in Finance from the University of Delaware.