A constant increase is noted in the number of organizations adopting agile methodologies. But each organization faces several challenges while testing a software application in agile environment. As many reports have highlighted the traditional test management and automation tools are not flexible enough to complement a faster moving development environment.
While testing complex projects in agile environment, the QA professional also have to address issues related to the resources, different geographic locations of teams and development technologies. That is why; it is essential for each organization to understand and address the challenges to optimize automated testing in agile environment.
4 Common Challenges of Test Automation in Agile Environment
1) Picking the Right Test Automation Tools
Nowadays, an enterprise has option to choose from several commercial and open source test automation tools. Most organizations compare these tools based on their individual features and prices. But often enterprises fail to identify the hidden flaws in a tool like inadequate support for the application, and lack of reliability.
An organization has to consider several factors to choose the right test automation tools for a specific project. Along with reading the features and price of the commercial tool, the user must analyze the feedback and recommendation of other users who have already use the tool in agile environment. Likewise, he must opt for the open source test automation tools that are supported by a large and active community.
2) When to Begin Test Automation Development
While developing in agile environment, organizations often start test automation development in the early stages of the project. But the features and functionalities of complex software applications keeps changing till the end of iteration. So the testers have to modify and redevelop the test automation scripts to optimize the unit test, performance test and API test results.
The quality assurance (QA) team can always save their time and effort by creating detailed and comprehensive manual test cases. The manual cases will make it easier for the testers to automate the tests, while addressing the modifications efficiently. However, an organization can still get the test au””tomation scripts early, when it is sure that the tests will not be affected by current iterations.
3) Including Relevant Test Automation Framework Development Tasks
The conventional agile workflow does not encourage testers to include test automation framework development tasks with no user points. But the automated testing results in agile environment are affected by the choice of test automation tools and frameworks. So a business must not underestimate the need for these frameworks.
As most organizations invest a substantial amount in tools, they get the framework developed by test automation engineers. So they have to decide the amount of time required to build a custom test automation framework. Normally, the framework development will require about two weeks time that equals the normal agile iteration. The product, however, needs to be tested manually during the period. Once the custom framework is developed, it can be easily included in the agile development environment.
4) Test Case Selection
In agile environment, QA professionals often find it daunting to choose the test cases for automation. Many organizations even affect the software testing results adversely by automating all test cases. But the QA team must choose and automate the right test cases to achieve both quality and efficiency, while saving their time and efforts.
An organization must evaluate each test case in detail to decide if needs to be automated. It is also important to automate the higher priority cases from the very beginning. The automation will help QA professionals to run the test cases with different system configurations, platforms and different sets of data. The proper selection of test cases for automation will further make it easier for the organization to reduce investment in test automation tools and frameworks.
With more and more organizations adopting agile methodologies, it has become essential for testers to understand how to automate the testing process to make the project successful. The software QA professionals must consider implementing best practices to overcome the challenges of automated testing in agile environment.
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