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4 Tips for Overcoming Resistance to Test Automation

Owen Savage

Owen Savage

A combination of time spent testing, costly bugs, and a resulting worse customer experience might mean that you are interested in test automation. That said, maybe you don’t know how to go about it, or you’re meeting resistance to automation from within your organization.

Finding it difficult to decide whether you should automate testing?

You’re not alone. The technical nature of QA testing processes means that evaluating whether or not to automate can be intimidating.

Considering the World Quality Report 2021-22 recommends standardizing the use of test automation in QA and making it the norm across all QA activities, it’s worth asking why people resist automation and how you can overcome that resistance.

Here are 4 tips on how to overcome resistance to test automation.

Skip ahead to:

1. Know the causes of resistance to test automation

2. Create a test automation vision first

3. Talk to the right people

4. Speak the right language

1. Know the causes of resistance to test automation

Getting past resistance requires a good understanding of why people go against it in the first place—there are many reasons why test automation is resisted.

If it ‘ain’t broke,’ don’t fix it. It’s easy to see your existing testing methods as functional whereas in reality, the lack of automation makes testing knowledge hard to share across an organization and fundamentally extremely difficult to scale.

Read more: Best practices for building maintainable and scalable test automation

Implementing test automation means a new approach, and a new approach calls for teams to leave their comfort zones and get used to new working conditions. And new mindset overall.

When it comes to investing, some people may not know or understand how to calculate the ROI of test automation. If you’re not able to showcase the value of test automation in the form of quantifiable outcomes, you may not get buy-in from your organization.

2. Create a test automation vision first

You need to create a test automation vision before proposing it to your team. If you propose test automation before having a concrete idea of why you are doing it in your specific context, your arguments will fall flat.

Instead of saying:

"I have a good idea for how to improve testing.”


“I have a good idea for how to improve testing, and here’s how much it will cost, how it will save us, and how much happier it will make our customers.”

By doing so, you’ll have a far higher chance of getting the attention of key players around you.

Read more in our whitepaper on Test Automation Strategy.

3. Talk to the right people

It’s also about speaking to the right people and conveying the right message to them so that they feel comfortable.

If, for example, you talk to developers involved in QA, they’ll likely tell you that they can perform these processes better than automation—they won’t see the motivation for automating.

When it comes to the resistance of a QA team specifically, focus on what is more likely to make them less risk-averse. QA Managers should provide the QA Team with appropriate training in automated testing tools. They should also make it clear that it’s an opportunity for test engineers to increase their qualification level and exert less effort on testing activities.

Test automation also allows developers and test engineers to focus on value-creation projects that help the team innovate. While developers can focus on new features, test engineers can hone in on exploratory testing.

However, being stuck in a technical argument means you won’t be talking about business processes and capabilities. Neither will you be talking about the ability to create software functionalities to support businesses in the right way.

This can be avoided by instead talking to those people for whom the lack of ability to get QA processes up and running at speed is vital.

Part of this process also involves getting the buy-in from budget holders. Make sure you create a strong business case for test automation. With this knowledge, you'll be equipped with a strong reasoning for why test automation is worth investing in.

test automation leapwork forrester roi calculator

4. Speak the right language

When making an argument for test automation, don’t purely look at the financials. Instead, look at the cost of failure and use that to ask the right questions:

What does it cost the company if bugs are not found while manually testing and escape into production?

Do you stand to lose customers?

How much time, resources, and money need to be spent rectifying the situation?

At Leapwork, we believe that our visual, no-code approach is key to overcoming resistance to test automation. By breaking down the barriers between humans and machines, our model brings those who are familiar with their businesses and business processes further into the QA process.

Find out more on how to overcome the resistance to test automation by accessing our webinar on measuring the business value of test automation. This next step will make sure that you're speaking the right language to the right people, and that you've made a strong case for how test automation can bring success to your business.

webinar best practices measuring the business value of test automation