Test automation aids businesses by accelerating their digital transformation. However, without management support, the right tool, processes, and a quality mindset from the top-down, test automation won’t succeed.
Part of the journey of getting support from management is to accurately measure the return of investment (ROI) of test automation. However, some businesses can miss steps or miscalculate. As a result, their automation efforts fall flat.
In this post, we explain the common mistakes businesses make while measuring the ROI of test automation and provide a short guide that outlines what you should be measuring.
Whether you’re coming from a manual testing background, or you have an internal automation framework in use, you may have faced one or more of these challenges when calculating the ROI of test automation.
So what are the common mistakes to avoid?
Most test automation can drive productivity. However, to realize the true value of test automation, it has to be implemented, built, and maintained. These costs aren’t always factored into the initial ROI calculation.
The maintenance of test automation can be kept to a minimum, but it requires adopting best practices and a tool with minimal maintenance. We outline how codeless test automation can help you achieve this.
When you have internally developed a framework for testing a functional UI, your test cases will be comprised of lines and lines of code.
The bigger the application under test (AUT), the more lines of code there are. If something breaks, you have to find out where the test broke. You also have to identify whether the failure is due to a bug, or a change in the source code of an application.
Parsing through these lines of code is a resource-intensive exercise, and it’s where most go wrong when creating their ROI measurement. It’s either forgotten about or miscalculated. This causes development teams to look for simpler automation solutions.
Another important factor that can be underestimated when measuring ROI is the cost of incidents caused by bugs leaking into production. The further downstream it is identified, the more expensive it is to solve.
This is best illustrated with a test automation pyramid.
A common misconception is that investment into a tool alone will be successful. However, it also requires the constant communication of the benefits. It may seem straightforward, but a number of projects are unable to scale because the benefits haven’t been clearly and regularly presented to executives.
We cover this topic in more detail in our on-demand webinar with Head of Business Value Consulting, Kristian Bjørn, where you’ll learn everything you need to know about measuring the business value of test automation.
Stick with tangible measurements that have quantifiable outcomes on productivity and cost. While time to market and quality software are benefits of good test automation, they are difficult to measure.
These points may not be visible in the beginning of your automation project, but can be considered as additional benefits that are realized as your automation project matures.
So what can you measure before implementing automation to get a realistic idea of the cost and benefit of automation?
We detail these points in our guide to measuring the ROI of test automation for tangible results that you can communicate to management.