Applying Automation Early in the Planning Process | iLAB

Applying Automation Early in the Planning Process

woman sitting at desk working on computers

Are you in the process of rolling out a new program or application for your business? Is the application going to impact your business either internally or your clients? Is this application or program critical for your success? If any of these apply to your business, then you are probably thinking about how you are going to be successful with the planning and testing. Too often, companies have single-minded focus on developing and deploying an application and fail to apply automation until the application is already developed or in the testing process. Unfortunately, this limits your automation capabilities to regression testing only.

With organizations using methodologies like Agile, Scaled Agile (SAFe) and DevOps to bridge the gap between Software Development and Operations, investing in automation early and thoughtfully can offer a host of benefits. It can help organizations achieve better quality and robust systems, increase customer satisfaction, and faster time to market. Certainly, thinking about automation testing may be daunting when you first begin the program-planning process. However, automation testing can be crucial to the success of your program or application. So, before you head further into your project, let the team at iLAB be your guide. We are here to explain the benefits of having automation in place sooner rather than later.

3 Benefits of Starting Automation Early

There are several benefits to starting automation early in the planning process. It allows you to plan beyond just functional test automation and apply it in areas that would benefit your organization the most. Here are some of those benefits:

  1. Allows for an Iterative Approach 

Introducing your automation during the planning process of your application allows for an iterative approach toward script development. This gives you the freedom to repeat a testing process as often and as frequently as you would like until you get the desired outcome for your application or program. The automation framework is established parallel to code development and gives you increased control over your application’s success at go-live.

  1. Allows Organizations to Think Outside the (Black) Box

When properly planned for early in the process, automation is an excellent way for your organization to think outside the box and use it in various settings. Your testing team can use automation to generate test data when test data is not readily available. Your automation suite can also be used to aide performance and load testing. Ultimately, by using different approaches to automation, such as API testing, unit testing and database testing, you can reduce dependency on a user interface, which means your team of testers or quality assurance experts can start testing well before the UI is ready. Automation testing also allows for verification of build health via smoke testing.

  1. Allows Organizations to Deliver Faster with Better Quality

Producing a product quickly, efficiently, and correctly is at the top of the priority list for many organizations – yours included. A very good way to accomplish this is by applying automation early in the planning process. You will not only get an increase in coverage, but you can rest assured that you will have early defect detection, reducing your long-term costs for the project. For example, iLAB’s automation framework, accelerators, and regression suite reduced regression testing time per release from approximately 100 hours to 15 hours for some clients for each regression run. These suites also give our clients the ability to reuse scripts to save even more time on testing recurring changes like annual fee updates and more. In an agile environment, several iterations build upon each other, culminating in a production release. Automation scripts created for on iteration can be run in another iteration. They can even be run concurrently in multiple environments and software configurations. This aspect saves time during the regression sprint and helps identify and fix bugs quickly.

Implement an Automation Strategy that Works for You

What works for another company may not work for yours, and vice-versa. Every organization has different goals and expectations when it comes to delivering software applications. The first step towards applying automation is understanding your organization’s objectives. These questions need to be answered before you can determine and implement your automation strategy.

  1. What problem do you need to solve?

You cannot come up with a good automation strategy until you have a clear definition of the problem that you are solving. Are you trying to keep up with your Agile teams and ‘fail fast’ to deliver value to the business in smaller increments? Are you aiming to reduce redundancy and automate repetitive tasks so your QA team can focus on testing new and complex functionality? Are you developing APIs for partners to use and do not have a user interface to test it with yet? The answers to questions like these will help you determine your automation strategy.

  1. How will you solve it?

Once you have a good definition of the problem you are trying to solve, you would need to determine what tools work best for your organization’s needs. You would also identify the automation candidates – the tests that provide the most value when automated. For example, a test that would be run one time, will not be a good candidate for automation, since automating it will not have the same return on investment as automating a test that is run on a regular basis.

  1. Do you have the right resources for automation?

With an understanding of the tools and technology to be used, you will need to determine if your current team members have the required skill set for your organization’s automation needs. If they do not, you will need to look into training them and/or hiring people with the skill set your organization needs to take software quality to the next level.

Set Yourself Up for Success with iLAB

iLAB not only has the years of experience, but it also has the expertise your business needs when it comes to software quality assurance. With everyone looking to put out new applications and software, applying automation early in the planning process gives your business an advantage over the competition. Don’t let this part of your development and testing take a backseat! Instead, set yourself up for success with iLAB. Contact us at (317) 218-3258.