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Last week Sr. Data Science Manager at Rainforest QA, Dr. Maciej Gryka, hosted a webinar where he shared how to address common decision-making problems people run into while creating their QA automation strategy: how much of your test suite should be automated, and which parts? Here are the key takeaways from the discussion:

An Effective QA Strategy Means Striking the Right Balance Between Automated and Manual Testing

Quality assurance serves to ship better products and features as quickly as possible, giving customers a much more delightful experience. Incorporating test automation into your QA strategy can help your company achieve its Agile or continuous delivery goals. But ambiguity around which test cases are a great fit for QA automation leads teams to struggle with implementation, resulting in resources being wasted and the QA process slowing down.

The key to effective QA automation lies in determining which test cases are a great fit for automation and which are best for manual testing. This balanced approach leads teams to maximize the return on their investment on their QA processes and actualize the benefits of test automation.

Test Automation Should Be Part of a Broader QA Strategy

While it can be tricky to figure the right balance of automation for a team’s individual QA strategy needs, there are a few areas regarding test automation all teams can count on and adhere to when improving the speed and reliability of their QA process.

Ultimately, test automation should be one component of a larger, more strategic QA strategy. Every organization benefits from having automation in the form of unit testing. Stable functional tests can also be automated successfully. On the other hand, other kinds of tests — such as accessibility, usability, and penetration tests are often better suited for manual testing.

To Automate Efficiently, Follow ROI

“While it’s possible to automate functional testing, it’s not easy, free, or straightforward.”

– Maciej Gryka

Because there are several areas teams can spend their efforts, determining how much of a functional test suite to automate is ambiguous. Each organization’s QA automation strategy should reflect their unique needs.

Maciej suggests eliminating ambiguity around whether or not to automate by weighing the costs of automating each test in four key areas:

  1. Build: How long does it take to build tests and how much technical expertise is required?
  2. Execution: Does test execution scale effectively for continuous delivery enablement?
  3. Triage: Are defects filtered reliably and is the transition to fix smooth?
  4. Maintenance: How frequently will tests need to be updated to stay useful?

Listen to “To Automate or Not to Automate: 5 Things to Consider when Building your Test Automation Strategy”

To hear the “5 Things to Consider” when confronted with ambiguity around building your QA test automation strategy, listen to-To Automate or Not to Automate: 5 Things to Consider when Building your Test Automation Strategy. You can access even more content on improving your QA strategy for continuous delivery on Rainforest QA’s resources page.

Stephanie does Marketing @Rainforest, where she loves to help companies learn how to reach their business goals with quality strategies!