Metrics are the secret weapon of successful QA teams.
The right metrics provide an unbiased, deeper understanding of your QA process. They help you identify and fix your pain points and will improve your team’s overall efficiency.Developing the right set of metrics should be the first step you take when transitioning to automation testing. You can’t take proper advantage of the speed, coverage, and efficiency of automated testing until you measure your automation progress.
The question is, which metrics give you that clear view of your process and how should you properly track them?
Finding the Right Test Automation Metrics
The test automation process lends itself naturally to simple outcome metrics. You can test for the number of defects found in any given build or the time it takes to execute a test cycle. You can go further than simply measuring if goals are being met by trying to discover if all your resources are being used to their maximum capacity. After all, the main purpose of performance metrics is to maintain consistency in both your products and processes.
Toward that end, we suggest tracking the following:
Percentage of tests automatable
Percent of automated test coverage
Automated suite execution time vs manual execution time
Script maintenance time
Breakeven in automation
If you want to delve deeper into the best metrics to track the progress of your QA process you can check out our free guide, 20 Metrics VPs Use To Measure Their QA Teams. It can help you plan for future deliverables and determine which metrics are best for your particular project. Let us take a closer look at some of them here.
Percentage of Tests Automatable
Also known as Automation Index, this is a good way of finding how appropriate automation testing is within your project. It is a matter of tallying the total test cases and dividing between the automatable and the non-automatable. The outcome will let you know what resources you need for the project and guide your decision to seek temporary or ongoing QA support.
As straightforward as it sounds, tracking your automation progress over a period of weeks lets you know how you are performing against expectations. If there is a significant deviation in the number of test cases that were automated, you must define whether tasks were put on hold due to higher priorities, there were unforeseen elements in the product, or the team just was not able to plan and execute their efforts effectively.
After you have found a cause, you can reposition your resources to the task or plan a new roadmap for your team.
Percent of Automated Test Coverage
One of the benefits of automated testing is it can be executed across any environment or platform simultaneously. This frees up your core staff for higher priority tasks, but only if things are tracking smoothly. What this metric can tell you is how close you are to covering the maximum percentage of the product with automation. It is another early warning system to let you allocate, or rather re-allocate, resources during a live QA process.
Automated Suite Execution Time vs Manual Execution Time
Despite the speed, coverage, and cost benefits of automated testing, there’s a good reason why manual testing remains a viable option. Manual testing introduces the human engineer’s brain and user-friendly understanding to the QA process. However, that human touch comes at a slower pace. Test automation metrics that quantify the exact times across both methods provide insight to potential time savings that can be crucial within a release cycle.
Script Maintenance Time
Your automation team will always strive to create test scripts and use cases according to previously established goals. However, despite every attempt to identify the elements, create data, and document and verify scripts ongoing maintenance is required during your build. A metric that measures the time spent on this maintenance provides insight into the overall value of test automation for your project.
Breakeven in Automation
Another quantitative measure of the effectiveness and ROI implications for running test automation. Ideally the amount of manual efforts saved should exceed the automation effort by 30-50% to realize a positive automation ROI. This test automation metric lets managers make the right decisions on whether to continue with automated testing.
Developing the right set of test automation metrics is the best way of evaluating whether the approach provides the best ROI for your QA process. Using their predictive power, managers can make in-process decisions to achieve better outcomes within the release cycle.
The Best Test Automation Metrics for Your Product
The best test automation metrics offer predictive results during the QA process. By measuring the test automation coverage and progress, getting real world projections on the test rates versus manual executions, and finding your breakeven point against that same manual approach, you can generate time and resources-saving information.
That information helps managers make the right decisions on the testing approach while the QA process is underway—but before it becomes too late to make viable future roadmaps.
At QASource, we find the right test automation metrics to guide you through QA testing. Our team has more than 1,000 collective years of automation experience, and we know how to evaluate your project. Contact us today for a Free Quote or call +1.925.271.5555 to get started.