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QASource Blog 8 Tips for Creating the Ultimate Test Automation Strategy

8 Tips for Creating the Ultimate Test Automation Strategy

8 Tips for Creating the Ultimate Test Automation Strategy

Your test automation strategy is the foundation of your final product. The difference between delivering your app’s potential impact to market or having to watch it fail comes down to the rigors of your QA process. A test automation strategy is your plan for executing that process.

It needs to be comprehensive enough to consider every variable of your testing process, from the nature of your workflows through to the section of the right test tools, from the selection of your QA expert to the makeup of your Agile development team.

The 6 tips below represent the essentials in QA development. They are guides that ensure you have the key ingredients front-of-mind when considering the right approach to producing a robust software application that will deliver on its consumer promise.

Test Automation Strategy Tips

These guiding strategies are:

1.  Outsource your QA
2.  Test early and often with Agile
3.  Balance automated and manual testing
4.  Identify automatable test cases
5.  Automation ROI
6.  Select the right test automation tool
7.  Framework selection and development
8.  Monitoring and maintaining automation

Together, these 8 pieces of advice can lead you toward creating better products from within a better development environment.

1.   Outsource Your QA

Not only does outsourcing offshore bring resource efficiencies and extend the hours in the day, but it also improves the overall strength of your software application. QA experts make sure your product is matched with the right tools, frameworks and technologies, and they should have all the latest qualifications and certifications to make sure you deliver against the highest security and compliance considerations.

By outsourcing your quality assurance, you are setting up a skilled automation team in the most efficient and reliable way. Reaching out beyond the U.S. to scale up your QA effort is cheaper than domestic alternatives and makes it easier to train, maintain and reuse domain experts who are familiar with all the latest software developments in your field. There is no learning curve for these instant experts. They can keep up with your development, and your engineers can continue to focus their attention where it matters most.

The risk of leaving your QA test strategy to developers who are pressed into roles beyond their expertise far outweighs any concerns with bringing in external experts. If you are not QA experts, outsource the critical responsibility.

2.   Test Early and Often with Agile

Agile test environments are built to accommodate change. The continual cycle of innovation and testing over several iterations ensures balance between function and stability. The ability to incorporate input from cross-functional teams prioritizes the ultimate end goal of user satisfaction at all phases. And incorporating QA processes early on in development is more efficient and cheaper than making changes late in the delivery process.

Coupling the leading software development approach with the most resource-efficient method of outsourcing allows you scale up your operations rapidly to deliver quality products faster. An Agile offshore QA relationship is ideal in many respects, with the expansion of expertise and experience, working hours and ROI. But strong, consistent communication must be a priority. This includes a commitment to your internal communication flow that keeps end goals in focus, and it includes a commitment to dynamic cooperation with your external QA partners. In time, when working together and communicating under the Agile testing approach, your separate teams can merge to create an even stronger development force.

3.   Balance Automated and Manual Testing

Knowing how to strike the right balance between the speed of automation testing and the human insights of manual testing is just one of the advantages of partnering with an external QA expert. The only way to ensure 100% test coverage is to complement automation with manual testing—and there is no more readily accessible way to protect your product’s market performance than with comprehensive test coverage.

Manual testing is necessarily more labor intensive, but there is no better way to simulate the end user experience than through the eyes and expertise of a human engineer. If your users are human, there should be a human element to your test phase.

Your QA partners know how to strategize the intersection of manual and automation test cases for your greatest ROI in the long run.

4.   Identify Automatable Test Cases

It is impossible to automate all testing, so it is important to segregate automatable and non-automatable test cases. Once you have the complete set of automatable test cases, it is time to evaluate those test cases, which run frequently and have high priority. In this way, you ensure high-priority coverage of your application features, which is critical from a business perspective.

5.   ROI of Automation

With proper upfront documentation of the automation approach to come, it is possible to anticipate the complete ROI of automation before even implementing any automation framework. This can also provide a picture of how much time you can save with manual vs automation testing.

6.   Select the Right Test Automation Tool

Manual testing won’t be totally replaced by automation any time soon, but the time savings offered by automated testing are too great to ignore. These advantages have led to a proliferation of automation tools. As a result, there is flexibility enough in the market to find an automation solution that suits your unique product, development environment and the skills and preferences of your team.

Consult our 2019 Guide to Automation Tools for a comprehensive overview of the wide range of options before you engage the services of an agnostic QA automation expert.

7.   Framework Selection and Development

Your QA resource checklist does not end with the automation tools. There are a number of choices to be made in how you structure your test framework, and they can have a profound impact on the efficiency of your development process. Current thinking favors modular, portable and reusable frameworks designed to cover the entire life of your product. This framework is the foundation of your automation process, however, so there is much to consider.

Use our guide to Automation Framework Design to make sure you understand what is possible, and optimal, when establishing the basis of your QA efforts. No matter how strong your code is, if you do not have the right framework, your automated test is at risk of breaking.

8.   Monitoring and Maintaining Automation

Your framework and tools selection should always be guided by strong elements of test automation monitoring and maintenance. The former ensures that you and your team receive constant feedback on the progress and results of your automation testing. Not every automation tool includes an easily understood reporting component, so be aware of which stakeholders need to receive such reports before making a commitment.

Similarly, there are differences in the ease with which maintenance can be performed across various tools. You want something that can be easily amended and reused and one that includes detailed failure logs so script error can be fixed with a minimum of fuss. With a grip on maintenance and monitoring, your test automation strategy is sustainable. Fortunately, offshore Agile teams are trained and prepared to communicate and report effectively, ensuring smooth workflows and a robust QA process overall.

Get Your Test Automation Strategy Right

Building your test plan around these 8 elements will go a long way toward executing a reliable, reusable and effective QA process.

Your test automation strategy is the key first step toward producing a quality product. As you follow these tips, pay attention to the important questions that arise; you cannot build a firm and lasting foundation if you do not first consider all the relevant variables. You’ll run across questions to ask your own team and also your QA expert for greater clarity. As always, the perfect test solution is one that delivers against your own specific deadlines, resource limitations and product potential.


QASource has the experience and expertise to take your test phase from planning right through to exit. Our engineers have helped global leaders such as IBM, Ford, eBay and Oracle deliver on their software potential, and we can do the same for your product. Get a free quote or call +1.925.271.5555 today and get your comprehensive QA process started correctly.