When testing changes, it is recommended to not only test the change itself, but also the adjoining components. This will (hopefully) demonstrate that the change has no negative effect, also called regression, on the unchanged parts. The increasing need to test for regression is often a reason to investigate whether it makes sense to automate these tests. It is difficult to get the business to agree on testing unchanged functionality time and again. Less manual testing and shorter lead times are music to your ears, of course. But are you ready for this as an organisation?
There are various preconditions that have to be met for automated testing to be successful. However, automated testing is strongly discouraged when the test process is insufficiently mature. Moreover, the greatest benefit lies in a structured and mature test process. This structured test process ensures that the test effort is based on risks (the biggest risks are tested first and most extensively). By finding the most important errors at an early stage, the repair costs are reduced. Within a mature testing process the (regression) test set is also built up in such a way that it is easy to maintain. Only when the test set is easy to maintain can it be easily updated, making it reusable in subsequent tests.
In practice, it is very laborious to implement these and other preconditions. The use of, for example, Excel and Word offers little solution, as the coherence and overview of all the separate documents is quickly lost. Moreover, reuse becomes impossible with hundreds of separate files (often spread across network drives and various project folders).
Automated regression testing with Testersuite
With the help of a test management tool such as Testersuite it becomes possible to gradually implement and secure the various preconditions for automated regression testing. Considering the automatic execution of regression tests only becomes meaningful if there is a structured test process, supported by a test management tool. It is recommended to start with an inventory of the tests that, when executed automatically, yield the most profit:
- Parts do not change often but can be a big problem (risk) if they do not function properly
- Components whose testing is very time-consuming
- Components that are often included in a regression test (many technical or functional dependencies)
Based on a business case, the assessment can be made whether the switch to automated testing is worthwhile. Take the following issues into account:
- It requires (technical) knowledge to convert manual test scripts to automated ones
- In the event of changes, the automated test scripts affected by the change must be updated
- New functionality needs to be rethought in terms of how it should be tested
- It is strongly discouraged to automate all tests!
We are happy to help you structure your test process and implement the various preconditions for automated testing. Testersuite also offers integration possibilities with automated test tools. Please feel free to contact us in an informal meeting to determine whether automated regression testing makes sense for your organisation.