First, the answer. The best approach to test automation development has four steps:
Choose the right QA partner for test automation development
Identify project requirements and outline strategy
Build a framework and create scripts
Provide a demonstration and full reporting
If you are a manager balancing several budgets, you might have made a similar list. Some managers skip straight to sourcing and vetting test automation development tools, which is a mistake. You will get better results with a considered strategy, which will include determining when test automation is best. The benefits of test automation include:
Better testing quality
More QA coverage
How you leverage your automated application testing to reach those high-level goals is determined by how you approach the development process. You will need to decide between running your QA process in-house or outsourcing it. It is almost always better to outsource when rounding out your development team. Outsourcing is cheaper than investing in full-time employees, and lets you scale—bringing you expertise when you need it most, at release time. You can hire for specific timing and talent expertise without blowing out your core labor budget, and you can tailor your expenditure to your market targets.
In the end, smart use of test automation development will save you time and money.
Choose the Right QA Partner for Test Automation Development
We are obviously biased in this regard—though we are not alone in our thinking—but you should work with someone who has a broad range of services that can accommodate your current and future goals. The longer you can stay viable to each other, the deeper and more efficient your partnership will become. At heart, you need a partner that believes you can still achieve the optimal agile development approach within an outsourced arrangement so you can maintain your key DevOps practices.
Identify Project Requirements and Outline Strategy
You can use insert your favorite organizational truism here, like failing to prepare is preparing to fail or begin as you intend to go on, but identifying your key development goals and parameters is crucial. Any good kickoff meeting will determine the project knowledge, product architecture, and methodology that will take you right through the release cycle.
The right QA approach will include determining priorities: What should be automated and what should not be automated—giving you the maximum bang for your buck. There is a natural budget temptation to limit your QA outsourcing team participation in these initial meetings, but it would put you at a disadvantage. Involving your entire team through all stages of application development gives you greater coverage and makes your responses nimbler. You communicate better when you learn the application language together.
Project requirements in hand, it is time to outline your strategy. This is where your QA automation team can really shine. It is the phase where you agree on how to create test cases and the testing interface, and generate and vet all the necessary test data. This is where your product knowledge meets your outsourcing partner’s process expertise to create the quickest, most effective method of running your automation testing. Now that you have defined and prioritized the scope of your project to deliver maximum ROI, you can make the best choices in tool evaluation (open source or commercial) and projected staffing for your project.
Build a Framework
After you have agreed on strategy, your QA team will build the necessary framework to automate the test cases. This is the time when you are likely most distant from a project element, and the reason why those first few decisions were so important. All these resulting scripts should be produced in batch format to reduce the chance of failure due to synchronization.
Framework building will involve deciding on the model of framework to be developed: Data-driven, page object model-based, or behavior-driven. It will also involve building modularity into the framework, and the selection of standards for development, best practices, features, and functionality.
Demonstration and Reporting
This is where communication between you and your QA partner becomes crucial. Throughout this entire process you need constant, structured communication between onsite and offsite team members to ensure the correct training and documentation is implemented. That helps both sides implement tests in the future. And so, on you roll through the QA process until your application reaches its target users.
That is the best approach to test automation development, and we are certain it will give you the optimal balance between cost-cutting and a high-quality end product. Automated testing is always going to save you time, but if you follow these guidelines it’ll also save you money and maximize the potential of your team’s talent and vision. It is your app. Make sure it is produced the way you want.