QA Testing
June 28, 2021

The Top 5 Test Automation Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

Do bugs leak out to production despite your company’s investment in test automation? Do these bugs affect critical product features and business processes in your digital lending solutions? 

Do you invest in test automation only to resort to manual testing, simply because the automation scripts lack accurate results? 

Do you lack transparency into what is being tested, how it’s being tested and what the results of the tests are?

Does your team spend too much time monitoring the test automation scripts run because of unstable environments or tools?

These are some of the common problems with test automation. As a result, 64% of companies that attempt to implement test automation fail to meet expectations and are blind to its highly discussed benefits. 

What are some of these added benefits?

  • Improved reliability of testing
  • Removal of human error
  • Expedited time to market
  • Reduced investment in long-term costs

Testing is a key component of delivering quality digital lending products, and the growing adoption of automated testing is rapidly shaping the software development and delivery landscape. The promises and benefits are widely discussed in the software and IT industry. And while test execution continues to increase and test coverage has notably expanded, the reality is all of these expectations fail to hit the mark.

Why is that?

Here are the top five reasons why test automation fails to deliver.

1. Automating poorly designed test cases

Imagine you’re meeting friends at a restaurant. They provide turn-by-turn directions to the restaurant, but you decide it’s such a nice day outside that you’d rather walk. You follow the directions given to you, but when you reach the restaurant, you find your friends aren’t there. You wait for a while then decide they changed their minds, so you leave.

As you’re walking home, taking a completely different route, you hear your friends calling your name. As it turns out, they did give you the right directions but did not give you the correct restaurant name. 

So, what does this have to do with QA automation? 

Imagine that, instead of walking to the restaurant, you decided to drive there using the same directions. You’d still wind up at the wrong restaurant but a lot quicker. 

That’s what it’s like when you automate poorly developed test cases.

Test automation is only as good as the tests they are designed to automate. Over the years, we have developed the skills and practices around test automation to help ensure accuracy. On top of that, we strive to provide useful information that allows the team to make the correct conclusions regarding the health of the system applications.

2. Selecting the wrong tools and framework

Test automation is a generic term. It typically refers to the concept of translating manual actions to automated scripts in hopes they do the same thing. For example, entering information on an online application form. While that is one form of test automation, it isn’t the only way of automating tests. There are a number of considerations to take into account when deciding what tools and test automation frameworks will fit your needs.

Some things to consider:

  • What types of tests do you want to automate? Unit tests? Integration Tests? Functional UI? Business facing acceptance tests? 
  • Who will maintain and update the automated test scripts and framework? 
  • How technical is your staff? What programming languages do they know?
  • What other tools (reporting tools, requirement tracking tools, etc.) do you want the test automation framework to integrate with?

The answer to these questions, and many other questions like them, will help you select the right test automation tools and frameworks to fit your business objectives. That’s why many companies need a partner with the necessary experience to ask the right questions and knowledge of what to do with the answers. 

Razorvision’s team has the technical knowledge and experience needed to offer our clients many options in this area. Unlike many outsourced test automation teams that specialize in implementing one type of test automation framework solution, we are knowledgeable on the implementation of multiple test automation frameworks that will fit your needs.

3. Lacking stable and dedicated test environments

Many test teams are faced with the challenge of finding a stable and dedicated test environment to develop and execute their scripts. For example, they’re advised to develop their tests in one environment but execute their tests in a different environment. This introduces risk to the speed and accuracy of the scripts due to being built against code and data that are in a constant state of flux. On top of that, the environment’s availability is not always under the testing team’s control.  

Razorvision Consulting recognizes the need to plan, monitor and control testing activities. Part of this process involves ensuring that the planning and execution is managed by one of our skilled and experienced senior consultants. We adhere to our own test methodology in addition to other testing-dependent activities and deliverables. This ensures that we take proactive steps to mitigate risk delays in the output of quality automated tests and delays in their proper execution.

4. Automating without a clear and focused test strategy

A test strategy provides the project team with a clear understanding of requirements and expected deliverables. It defines what is in scope for testing and what is out of scope. It provides information like additional tools, applications, systems access permission required for the testing team to plan, analyze, design and execute their tests. More importantly, it provides a definition for project completion. Can the testing team provide the project team proof that testing was successful? Did the product meet the agreed-to requirements? Is it ready for deployment?

Failure to create a clear and focused test strategy often leads to a test automation framework that lacks the necessary proofs a project team requires. On the other hand, not having a test strategy can also lead to the test automation of features that are not in scope for a given project. Both of these waste valuable time and money. Avoiding this crucial step will lead to solutions that are difficult to maintain over time, and ultimately, cause complete abandonment of test automation.

Razorvision has the experience, knowledge, methodologies and resources to develop test plan strategies for our clients and partners. Our senior test consultants have many years of experience in the development of Fintech test strategies and plans.

5. Missing traceability

Traceability is the process of matching up test cases to requirements under test. As the number of features and functionality of an application grows, test cases can require updates, retirements or new test cases built from scratch.

When left unmanaged, test automation scripts become stale. Traceability is extremely valuable in its ability to quickly identify automated tests that are impacted by a change, retirement or addition of new requirements and features. This enables the team to take the necessary steps to adjust the test automation suite and continue to properly test the most current version of the application. 

Razorvision’s QA and Testing Methodology provides guidelines for the development and management of requirements traceability. We monitor changes and updates in requirements, specifications and designs. Through traceability, we ensure that all test cases are updated appropriately to avoid time-wasting events like false negatives (false bugs).

At Razorvision, we are passionate about helping lenders and partners avoid common software defects with superior Quality Assurance testing capabilities.

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