The 3 Main Reasons Test Automation Projects Fail

December 6, 2022
 / 
by 
Sohaib Zaidi

Table of contents

It’s no secret that automation tools speed up the software development life cycle and testing process. Test automation improves application quality by eliminating human error, increasing test coverage, and reducing the number of software bugs. However, despite these benefits, many business leaders hesitate to implement test automation due to a high risk of project failure.

When an organization attempts any type of digital transformation, the possibility for failure exists. There are a number of circumstances that contribute to project failure, from poor planning and lack of commitment from upper management to simply not having enough qualified staff to carry out the project. This is true for most types of automation projects, and especially true for test automation.

In our many years of working with companies to automate their testing processes, we’ve learned a lot about what works, what doesn’t, and ultimately, what leads to success or failure. Here are three important points to consider if you want to avoid test automation failure.

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1. Test automation projects fail when you don’t get the right stakeholders involved.

Bringing in new test automation tools without consulting primary stakeholders is a recipe for disaster. This is due to differing and sometimes unrealistic expectations. Management might think the project should be completed overnight and cost half of what it does. IT, of course, knows better. And the end-users just want to keep performing their daily duties with minimal interruptions or downtime.

It’s a good idea to get all these people in one room to discuss what will be required of each team. For example, does the IT department have the bandwidth to complete the project in the expected timeframe? According to PractiTest, 39% of QA teams had between two and five testers in 2021. If the team isn’t large enough, will management approve additional hires?

And what about the end users? In case of ERP test automation projects, they’re typically the ones responsible for functional and regression testing. How will the introduction of test automation affect their regular job responsibilities? Also, if you bring in a code-based automation tool, there will be  a steep learning curve for non-technical business users tasked with taking part in the testing process.

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2. Test automation projects fail due to a lack of planning.

Once you get buy-in from the proper stakeholders, it’s time to collaborate on the desired outcome. Not having a solid plan in place for your test automation project leads to unnecessary delays, expensive cost overruns, and inadequate test coverage.

Before getting started, you need to get clear on your test automation goals and how you plan to  achieve them. This is the time to ask and answer every possible question about the project. Which test cases will be automated? Which ones will still require some level of human intervention? Who will write the test scripts? Who will be responsible for maintaining them? What tech stacks and applications will be affected? What testing processes are top priority?

Trying to automate every single test all at once is a mistake. Prioritizing the most important test cases first and then building on that process step-by-step is a much better approach and will lead to a more successful rollout.

3. Test automation projects fail because you’re not using the right tool.

The full value of test automation can only be realized when you’re using the right tool. Once you have all the right stakeholders involved and a solid project plan in place, finding the right automation platform is the final step.

Find a solution that ensures proper risk-coverage and helps solve the questions of what to test, what not to test, and when to test. For example, Opkey’s AI-enhanced test automation platform mines process logs to discover legacy tests and identify gaps in test coverage. It then fills in those gaps with a library of 30,000 pre-built test cases for all types of scripts, including regression testing, parallel testing, and end-to-end testing as well.

Another feature to consider is no-code test automation to eliminate the costly expense of having to hire additional IT professionals. Opkey’s codeless test automation tool has an easy drag-and-drop interface that empowers non-technical business users to participate in the testing cycle.

In order to avoid test automation project failure, you need to have the right stakeholders involved, a proper plan in place, and the right tool for the job. When considering different test management tools, look for a no-code solution like Opkey that can increase your overall test coverage and make it easy for anyone – not just developers – to do their part to ensure a successful outcome.

How to have a successful test automation project
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