Which Test Automation Metrics Are Right for Your Product?

Timothy Joseph
Timothy Joseph | May 26, 2021

Which Test Automation Metrics Are Right for Your Product?

Test automation metrics are the secret weapon of successful QA teams. In fact, the right automation coverage metrics provide an unbiased, deeper understanding of your QA process so that you can identify and fix pain points while improving your team’s performance and efficiency.

An important step when transitioning to automation testing is to develop the right set of automation testing metrics so that you feed insightful data into your automation metrics report. Your team can’t take proper advantage of the speed, coverage, and efficiency of automated testing until you measure your test progress.

That leaves us with the question: which test automation reporting metrics give you that clear view of your process and how should you properly track them?

This comprehensive guide explores when you should automate testing and which metrics you should be measuring, including decision criteria in sprint automation metrics.

When Should Teams Automate QA Testing?

Before determining the most important metrics for automation testing, your team should first identify which QA tests should be automated. You may be surprised by how many manual tests can be completely replaced by automation testing.

In short, you should automate any repetitive test that is performed frequently across development cycles that doesn’t require extensive human testing. Types of testing that’s ideal for test automation include unit testing, component testing, acceptance testing and GUI integration testing.

Once you pinpoint all the tests that can be automated, you can then measure your Automation Index. Simply tally the total test cases and divide the automatable by the non-automatable tests. The outcome lets you know what resources you need for the project, including ongoing QA support.

Recommended Test Automation Metrics

The main purpose of measuring performance metrics is to maintain consistency in both your products and processes, and also lets you discover if all your resources are being used to their maximum capacity. Below are our teams recommended test automation metrics.

  • Automation Progress

    Tracking test automation metrics over a period of weeks lets you know how you are performing against expectations. Including this KPI helps your team establish an expected testing cadence across release cycles.

    Your automation metrics report can then identify if there are any significant deviations in the number of test cases that were automated. There are many reasons for these deviations, whether tasks were put on hold due to higher priorities, there were unforeseen elements in the product, or the team was unable to execute their efforts effectively. Once you find the cause, you can reposition your resources and create a new roadmap for your team.

  • Percent of Automated Test Coverage

    This is one of the most important metrics for automation testing because it lets you know how much of your codebase is covered by test automation. Measuring this KPI within your automation coverage metrics means knowing how close you are to covering the maximum percentage of the product with automation. By tracking this, your automation metrics report acts as an early warning system so that you can reallocate resources during a live QA process.

    It’s easy to measure these test automation reporting metrics. Simply apply the right numbers into this equation:

    Percent of Automated Test Coverage = Automation Coverage / Total Coverage

  • Equivalent Manual Testing Efforts (EMTE)

    There are many reasons why teams include test automation within their QA practices, like reliable speed and cost-effective efficiency.

    While there are still good reasons to perform manual testing, the human touch comes at a slower pace. How much slower? That’s what these automation testing metrics measure. The EMTE measures the amount of effort it would take to execute an automated test case manually. It quantifies the exact times across both methods so that you know how much time you save (or can save) within a release cycle.

    Here’s how to calculate this KPI:

    EMTE - Length of Time for Manual Testing - Length of Time for Automated Testing

  • Number of Defects Found

    This KPI keeps track of how many issues, bugs and errors are found during QA testing. This number aims to measure how problematic the software release is across release cycles and can be used for predictive modelling by estimating the residual defects expected under certain coverage levels. When this number is high, it tells you that your development team needs more resources or is working through coding difficulties due to increased product features.

  • Defect Distribution

    Knowing how many defects are found during QA may not be enough information. Knowing exactly where these issues lie within the codebase can help developers resolve the issues instead of applying quick fixes. Identifying these bug hotspots can bring insight to issues outside of development, such as problematic requirement gathering, development process bottlenecks and not enough resources.

  • Script Maintenance Time

    Your automation team always strives to create test scripts and use cases according to previously established goals. Yet ongoing maintenance is required during your build, despite every attempt to identify the elements, create data and verify scripts. This metric measures the time spent on this maintenance process so that you have insight into the overall value of test automation for your project.

  • Breakeven in Automation

    This KPI measures the effectiveness and ROI for running test automation. Ideally, the amount of manual efforts saved should exceed your automation effort by 30-50% in order to realize a positive return on investment. Because of this, managers can make informed decisions on whether or not to continue with automated testing. Tracking this metric is the best way to evaluate whether or not this approach provides the best ROI for your QA process.

The best test automation metrics offer predictive results during the QA process. Collecting data from your testing helps managers make the right decisions on the current and future testing approaches.

Does your team need help determining and measuring these test automation metrics? Consider partnering with a QA services provider like QASource. Our team of testing experts specialize in both automation testing and manual testing with years of experience performing test cases across domains. Let us help your team identify your testing KPIs and establish how to measure your QA performance within your development process. Get a free quote today.


This publication is for informational purposes only, and nothing contained in it should be considered legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out of this information and encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.