10 Best Practices for Planning a Test Automation Strategy

Test Automation has been in trend for the past few years and due to its reliability and need, testers and developers are utilizing test automation to its best. There are various reasons like speed, efficiency, return on investment, etc. for test automation to become more popular every day. Since various activities and processes nowadays are automated there is a need to utilize them effectively and efficiently. By making a proper test automation strategy, we can utilize test automation to its maximum value and make use of our time and efforts constructively.

When we do something, it needs to be done efficiently and effectively. Hence following best practices is necessary to make sure that we do not have to face repercussions later on. Here are some of the best practices that need to be followed while planning your test automation strategy.

Best Practices for Test Automation Strategy

Test automation is an important part of a testing process and it needs to be strategized and taken care of. Here are some best practices for test automation.

1. Select a dedicated Test Automation Engineer or a Team


This is the first and foremost important thing to do. You need to hire a dedicated test automation engineer or a team. Transitioning from manual to test automation is tough and not every manual tester can go through the process of automation. Hence, specialization is necessary. Don’t expect manual testers to do the automation for you. Test automation is a full-time and dedicated job, so if you expect manual testers to do automation, free them from manual testing and let them focus on only automation.

2. Choose your Test Automation tool

Test Automation Tool

Your test automation tool plays a major role in your test automation strategy. You need to be very careful while selecting your test automation tool. Choose a tool that fits your requirements and is easily acceptable to your team. After all, it will be your team that will be using the tool. Keep the following key points into consideration while selecting your test automation tool:

  1. Does the tool meet your budget requirements?
  2. What platforms and technology does the tool support?
  3. Does the tool provide flexibility for testers of all skill levels? Or does it require a special skill set?
  4. What are the tools for analytics and support?

You can use various cross-browser testing tools to perform test automation to solve automation as well as manual testing needs on a combination of 2000+ devices and browsers. Lambdatest is the best automation tool. Our readers get a special 20% discount on Lambdatest using the coupon code: VWANT20.

3. Know the In’s and out of the application to be automated

The next thing, you’ll be doing after setting up your team and selecting the tool is automating the application or the process. So, you need to know the thorough in and out of the application that you want to test.

This will help you in the further steps as well as creating test cases, automating them, figuring out the process, cross-verifying the test cases, etc. To automate the application or process, you need to understand it thoroughly first.

4. What Can be automated in Software testing?

Once you become familiar with the application or the process to be automated you need to move ahead and identify what all test cases are there which can be automated? Since you cannot automate everything, you need to find places where test automation can help you.

You can get help from test automation by choosing to automate:

  1. Repetitive test cases that are being re-run for multiple builds every time
  2. Test cases that are more prone to human error
  3. Test cases that cannot be run manually
  4. Test cases that need to be run repeatedly on different configurations every time
  5. Tests that are too time-consuming when running manually
  6. Test cases that induce a lot of risk factors when running manually

5. Test early and often

The later you test and find bugs, the more costly it becomes. Hence the earlier the testing process begins, the better. This is an approach that we should follow every time. As soon as the process becomes testable, the testing should be initiated on it to make sure that there are no surprise bugs encountered in the testing cycle later. Hence, we should start automating our testing process as early as possible.

Testing frequently also delicates the risk of facing bugs later in the cycle and helps in populating the bug to the various development cycles.

6. Divide the test automation efforts between the team

Test automation is a collective task. The efforts should be divided among the team. You might need to get help from your team members to achieve different tasks. Before writing the test script you might need to discuss the test cases with your project manager and see if you are covering all the test cases or not.  While writing an automation script, a well-versed developer might give it a quick look to make sure that the script will be fine in functionality when the script is done, the QA team needs to make sure that the quality of the tests is fine and no test cases and scenarios are missed. Hence, you need to divide the automation efforts between the teams to make sure you come out with the best test automation.

7. Automate Regression tests

Regression tests are done after pushing every build in order to ensure that the new build does not affect the existing functional and visual parameters. In organizations where a new build is pushed every week, every fourteen days, or every month, testing the complete functionality along with new releases becomes difficult. Also, as we know if testers keep on testing the same functionality every time, they will miss various important features and bugs due to boredom. Hence automating regression tests can save us from various bugs at a later time.

8. Remove uncertainty from automation tests

When we perform automation tests, there are many times when a certain test fails one time and passes the other time. If this happens, where a test fails in one case and passes in the other case, you need to analyze what went wrong in the first test. Was it due to some factor that we missed? Was it due to a fault in the application or process? In such cases, we need to be sure what caused the test to fail by analyzing what went wrong? This analysis saves us from the unnecessary bugs encountered many times occasionally as well as helps us understand why this is caused.

In such cases, we need to experiment by deleting some uncertainty factors from our test cases and find out the cause of the issue.

9. Don’t automate everything

Well, this is one thing that every automation tester and project manager should make a habit of. 100% automation is a myth!

We can never automate nor should automate everything. Manual intervention should be there as various checkpoints in your automation process. The software cannot replace manual efforts but can help us in making manual tasks easier and aid us. Some fields like analysis, intelligence, writing test scripts, and initiation of tests still need to be done manually. Also, you need to make sure that your automation script is working and working fine timely.

10. How do I prepare for Automation testing – Do not rely solely on Automation

As mentioned earlier, do not automate everything, and do not rely solely on automation for your testing. What if someday your test automation script fails? Will you have enough resources to get it tested manually? Will you be having a backup? How will you manage? Take care of these things as well. Be prepared for the worst and do not rely solely on automation.

Test Automation is the sole of any process or application testing when done correctly. Making sure that we follow the best practices and perform test automation to utilize the best of it is necessary. Hence, we need to take care of just a few things while performing test automation and we can use it to its best and make sure to deliver the best code in a faster, effective, and efficient manner.

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10 Best Practices for Planning a Test Automation Strategy – FAQs

What is the strategy for the automation test plan?

An automated test strategy defines how you’ll utilize automation frameworks throughout testing. It includes manual and automated test planning, test cases of all types, automation scripts, test environments and their definitions, test data, test results, execution logs, and reporting output.

Which is the best approach for designing a test automation framework?

The most popular design pattern for creating a selenium automation framework is the Page Object Model (POM), it separates UI operations from the functionality and makes the code clean.

What are the 4 stages of automation?

A comprehensive and effective systematic approach to business process automation consists of 4 phases: analysis, implementation, integration, and maintenance and support.

What are the 7 phases of STLC?

The stages of the STLC include Test Planning, Test Analysis, Test Design, Test Environment Setup, Test Execution, Test Closure, and Defect Retesting.

What is the bug life cycle in Jira?

Defect Life Cycle or JIRA Bug Life Cycle is a cyclic procedure that defines how a defect or bug passes through various stages from the identification stage to the fixing stage i.e., it starts when a tester discovers or logs a bug and it stops when the bug is fixed.

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