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December 2019

Automated testing does not start on its own

Automated testing, we hear and read a lot about it. Senior management in particular seems to be on the move. Views and promises about saving costs and time are doing well within those circles. This also applies to organizations where the test process leaves much to be desired. The ‘convenience’ leitmotif often plays an important role. It is not recognized that a mature test process is conditional to be able to start with test automation. The question is of course whether test automation is the promised land …

Geautomatiseerd testen gaat niet vanzelf.


Automated testing can certainly offer a solution. For example in Agile / SCRUM environments where the same regression tests must be performed very frequently. There are many examples of organizations that successfully apply automated testing. However, a lot of work has preceded this. The preconditions for test automation have been met, a test tool has been selected, purchased and implemented and the regression test set has been automated with the tool. However, after that it will be quite a challenge to keep an overview, to prevent proliferation and to keep the automatic tests working. And this is precisely the point where in many cases there is underestimation.


Automating something quickly out of convenience does not work. This requires insight into the test process, but also knowledge of the possibilities of test automation. Moreover, you cannot test everything automatically. The question you must ask yourself is do you have sufficient insight into all (manual) tests that are carried out within your organization? Which regression tests are being carried out or should be carried out? For which applications and on which platforms? Who performs the tests? How often are the same tests performed? If these questions cannot be answered clearly, automated testing is still a long way off.


When cost control is the driver for automated testing, you can also be disappointed. Not only the implementation costs money. Therefore, costs must also be incurred to manage the automatic test process. After all, new systems / integrations and releases ensure that new scripts must be written. Automated testing works on the basis of algorithms and / or scenarios that are thought up. If something changes in the software, changes will have to be made to the scripts. Who will do this and how much time will it take? You do not realize this with a single push of a button.

Automated testing takes time and money

As described above, automated testing means that you have to invest time and money. Not only at the start of automated testing but also for management. If you intend to start using test automation, a good impact analysis of the advantages and disadvantages is necessary. The big question is, is your organization ready? A mature test process and test organization is essential. Make a business case to determine whether test automation will add enough. And as mentioned earlier, you cannot test everything automatically.

An mature testing process as a portal

Organizations that have their testing process in order will have less difficulty automating recurring tests. Characteristic of this type of organization is that they have arranged the following:Risk & requirement is tested based on;

  • There is a manual regression test set that is used;
  • There is central test coordination of test processes;
  • There is a structured test process;
  • In other words, there is a mature testing process.

Having the test process in order goes hand in hand with having a good test management tool. This makes the step to automated testing possible. A test management tool is important to get a grip on manual testing and the automatic testing. It is also a central place where the results are managed that come from the manual and the automated tests. With a test management tool you want to report on test progress and test coverage. Tests are performed automatically. And don’t forget the importance of exploratory testing. As long as A.I. not at the same level as humans operate, exploratory testing remains a manual activity. A good test management tool helps with this also.

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