What You Need To Know About Achieving “In-Sprint Test Automation”

by May 15, 2018

Is it Possible to Achieve In-Sprint Test Automation?

Test Automation is not a new concept in software development. Since the rise of Agile and DevOps and things like continuous testing and delivery, there has always been a goal to deliver high-quality software fast. Even though the goal was clear, bringing that idea to fruition proved to be more difficult. Testing teams were often left with an impossible task of manually formulating new test cases, modifying old test cases, integrating all testing components and finally running each test case manually at the bitter end of a sprint cycle. Shortcuts and quality assurance holes were unavoidable, so new methodologies like Behavior Driven Development, Test Driven Development, and others were created to address these impending issues. But none of them could achieve full In-Sprint Test Automation on their own, at least until the idea of Model-Based Testing was conceived. This methodology is centered around the creation of a visual diagram that represents system requirements and user actions, while simultaneously linking testing artifacts required to complete those actions. By having an application expressed in this way, full automation of all test scenarios is now a reachable goal.

Not In-Sprint Test Automation

A sprint lagging effect happens due to bottlenecks in the release cycle.

Creating an Automation Strategy

To automate and develop use cases in the same sprint, defining and prioritizing transformational steps is a necessity. Many customers are overwhelmed with their outstanding tasks and rush to meet deadlines to determine where they need to start to achieve In-Sprint Automation. Where discipline meets success is by having a strategy that is both attainable and actionable. Manual test case creation and conversion of existing test cases to reflect new requirements are where most teams spend much of their time. Automation frameworks can also be an obstruction to continuous testing. Manually creating each script by hand within these frameworks is often a laborious task. Then trying to identify how application changes impact test cases and automated scripts can be time consuming and inefficient. A prolific automation strategy will streamline test case creation, test automation scripts, and change management.

True In-Sprint Test Automation

With automated in-sprint testing, the sprint lagging effect can be eliminated.

Today in practice, companies are already using In-Sprint Test Automation strategies. This Top Global Banking Leader is one company that has proved this type of solution is possible. As a result, their test script creation cycle has been reduced by 70%, thus increasing tester efficiency .

“It has been pretty dramatic. We have rolled it out across many of our digital teams. In the first year, we saw about a 70% reduction in our script creation time. So, we went from five days per sprint to one day, one to one and a half days per sprint in the script creation. So, it has been really effective.” – Director of QA

Choosing Your Tools Wisely

Modeling out user stories in a visual format will eliminate any confusion around what an application is supposed to accomplish. Once you have created this representation, you can derive test cases from the model by optimizing the different combinations of paths. This suite of test cases represents the maximum amount of desired test coverage, with the least amount paths through the flow. Tied to each test step within the model, are all artifacts required to automatically complete each test step. These integrated artifacts can be scripted code pieces, test data or linked virtualized testing environments. For example, to test an application login page, a false user name and password, a real or virtual authentication server and the code that runs in the background to complete this action must all be represented in the model. Once these pieces are in place, test cases can be generated and each necessary artifact tied to its appropriate test step.

In-Sprint Test Automation Modeling

Each defined test step can then be referenced for different paths through the created application flow. As each path action is completed, individual code snippets are combined in a chronological chain representing a user flow through the application. As a result, not only will the test cases be automatically produced, fully functional automated test scripts will be connected in addition.

What Does This Mean for You?

Having a tool that can give you this output with the push of a button can completely transform the way testing teams operate. Test cases can be created or updated as soon as the model reflects the upcoming functionality changes, allowing tests to be started and organized at the beginning of the sprint. Automated test scripts can be run sooner, resulting in detecting defects earlier and reducing the amount of resources used to fix issues, before they make it to production. The model is reusable, living tool that allows test cases and scripts to be updated in an optimized fashion, giving testing teams more time and flexibility. With the right strategy, it is possible to create high quality products at the speed of agile.

Use In-Sprint Test Automation To Relieve Your Agile and DevOps Bottleneck

Many software professionals consider QA and testing the biggest bottleneck in agile and DevOps environments. If you’re still writing and maintaining test automation scripts, chances are good that you’re lagging at least one sprint (likely more) behind the development sprint.

It’s time to break through the barriers to testing at the speed of agile by using in-sprint test automation. Finally, you can have your application development and test automation in the same sprint—at speed—with quality built into your application pipeline.

Join this web seminar to learn how in-sprint test automation practices can help you:

  • Shift testing all the way to the left—to your business requirements design phase
  • Automatically generate test automation scripts for both open source and commercial frameworks
  • Achieve maximum coverage with the smallest set of test cases, directly from clearly modeled requirements

In-Sprint Test Automation Webinar

CA offers comprehensive solutions that automates the most difficult testing activities – from requirements engineering through test design automation and optimization. Start your Free Trial of CA Agile Requirements Designer today and fast track your testing through In-Sprint Automation.