The Power of Automation Testing: Magic Bullet or Smart Investment? (based on a case study)

The Power of Automation Testing: Magic Bullet or Smart Investment? (based on a case study)
April 17 13:50 2024 Print This Article

There are many misconceptions surrounding automation testing. Some view it as a silver bullet that solves all testing woes. Others fear it’s too complex and expensive. Today, we aim to dispel these common myths and showcase the true value of automation in testing. To demonstrate its effectiveness, we’ll delve into a real-world case study where we harnessed the power of both automation and manual testing to achieve impressive results.

Project description

Like every other product owner and project manager involved in app development, our client aspired to streamline the process and reduce costs. Our client developed an innovative mobile healthcare application that enables easy connection with doctors via smartphones. While similar apps exist that save time on doctor visits, our client’s innovation lies in a new approach that boosts user engagement through mini-games and device-native interactions. Moreover, significant attention was paid to the app’s accessibility, especially for individuals with disabilities, ensuring that everyone who needs help can access services. Ultimately, the project aimed to create an application that simplifies and quickens the approach to consulting a doctor in an engaging manner.

The main automation testing concerns

The main challenge we faced was the project’s ever-increasing complexity. Each upgrade or new unit added significantly increased testing time. Regression testing, in particular, became increasingly time-consuming with every change. This is why we recommended implementing automation testing.

  • The initial concern was the cost of implementing automation testing. However, we explained that this investment would pay off in the long run. Automation can reduce the need for additional QA engineers, leading to significant cost savings.
  • The second point we needed to clarify was that even if we use automation, manual testing is mandatory. Automation is particularly effective for regression and functional testing. For repetitive tasks, automation is the perfect solution. However, automation complements, not replaces, manual testing. Manual testing is essential for exploratory testing, user experience evaluation, and handling edge cases that may be difficult to automate effectively.

How did automation preparations look like when working on a project?

As an independent QA provider, we embraced the challenge of transforming our testing approach from a primarily manual framework to a more cost-effective, automated one. Our primary goal was to establish a robust and comprehensive testing infrastructure that not only supports efficient and effective automated testing but also retains the essential aspects of manual testing where necessary. Here are the detailed steps we implemented:

  1. Project documentation
    – Created comprehensive documentation, which includes a detailed set of test cases that cover all aspects of the application. This step is crucial for ensuring that every function and potential user interaction is accounted for in our testing protocols.
    – Organized documentation into an easily navigable format to facilitate quick access and reference, which is essential for both current testing phases and future maintenance or updates.
  2. Traceability matrix
    – Developed a traceability matrix that maps out a clear relationship between each test case and its respective requirements. This matrix helps maintain alignment with the project goals and ensures comprehensive requirement coverage.
    – Utilized the matrix to identify any gaps in testing coverage or overlaps that could lead to redundant testing efforts, optimizing both time and resources.
  3. Preparation for automation
    – Systematically crafted a sufficient number of test cases to cover all functionalities and scenarios within the application, laying a solid foundation for introducing automation.
    – Evaluated and selected the appropriate tools and technologies that best fit the specific needs of the application, ensuring that the transition to automation is both smooth and effective.
  4. Implementation of automated testing
    – Extended the coverage of the application’s functionality through carefully planned automated tests. These tests are designed to replicate real-world usage and to uncover any issues that could potentially disrupt user experience.
    – Set up a schedule for regular automated test runs, which allows for ongoing monitoring and immediate detection of new issues as they arise during development cycles.
  5. Quality Assurance
    – Tested the application for both robustness and user-friendliness to maintain a high standard of quality. This includes stress tests, usability tests, and performance benchmarks to ensure the application can handle real-world operations.
    – Implemented a continuous feedback loop with the development team, providing them with detailed reports on findings and recommendations for improvements, thereby enhancing the overall quality of the application.

By meticulously following these steps, we have not only improved the efficiency of our testing process but also significantly enhanced the quality and reliability of the applications we test. This systematic approach ensures that we can continue to meet the evolving needs of our clients and maintain our commitment to delivering top-tier QA services.

The results of combining manual and automation testing

Thanks to the strategic decision to implement automation in the testing process, we successfully met the client’s objectives of reducing costs, shortening testing timelines, and maintaining high-quality standards in our testing deliverables. Here are the significant results our client achieved working with us:

  • Efficiency in regression testing
    Reduced regression testing time by 51%, enabling quicker release cycles and faster time-to-market for the client’s product updates. This reduction not only sped up the development process but also allowed for more frequent updates and improvements.
  • Improved quality assurance
    Decreased the number of overall testing issues by 62%, demonstrating a significant enhancement in the quality and reliability of the software. This improvement in software quality reduces the potential for bugs reaching production, thereby enhancing user satisfaction and trust in the client’s products.
  • Cost savings
    Our client achieved an average monthly saving of $4,400 on their cash burn rate. These savings stem from the reduced need for extensive manual testing resources and the decreased incidence of costly post-release fixes due to early detection of issues.
  • Additional benefits
    Scalability: Automation has allowed the testing process to be more scalable. As the client’s software grows in complexity and user base, the testing processes can easily be adjusted to cover new scenarios and larger datasets without a proportional increase in effort or cost.
  • Consistency and Reliability: Automated tests perform the same steps in the same order every time they are run, ensuring that all functionalities are consistently checked for errors after every change in the codebase, leading to more stable releases.
  • Employee Satisfaction: By automating repetitive and tedious tasks, the quality assurance team can focus on more strategic and challenging work, leading to higher job satisfaction and retention rates.

The results we achieved were truly impressive, and we believe most companies would be thrilled with similar outcomes. This success was only possible through the powerful combination of automated and manual testing. Automation isn’t a magic bullet; it’s an integral part of a modern and enhanced quality assurance system. To unlock the full potential of automation, a comprehensive testing approach is crucial. And that’s where we can help.

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Ed Ivashchuk
Ed Ivashchuk

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