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S.Janardhanan Chief Technology Officer ITC Infotech India Limited. Business Case for Test Automation. Business Case for Test Automation. Test Automation – Myths and Reality Return on Investments Key take outs and summary. Agenda. Test Automation – Myths and Reality.

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s janardhanan chief technology officer itc infotech india limited

Chief Technology Officer

ITC Infotech India Limited

Business Case for Test Automation

Business Case for Test Automation

Test Automation – Myths and Reality

Return on Investments

Key take outs and summary

test automation myths
Test Automation is simple, every tester can do it

This myth is promoted by the tool sales people. They are trying to promote the following test automation process:

Record the script

Enhance the script by adding functions and data driving

Run the scripts

Report results

Under the influence of this myth a QA manager can proudly report: All our testers are developing test automation.

Test Automation Myths
reality test automation is a software development task
Automation should be designed, developed and tested

You need to have some kind of a programming background to implement test automation. Test Automation is not as complex as C++/C#/Java development.

Test automation standards should be developed

Automated test components are assets that should be treated like application source code, unit tested, integration tested and performance aspects considered.

Reality - Test automation is a software development task
myth 2 commercial test tools are expensive
Myth #2 – Commercial test tools are expensive

Under the influence of this myth some companies, especially the small ones:

Try to develop their own test automation tools

Use scripting languages like Perl and Ruby

Use shareware test tools

Do not consider test automation at all

reality commercial tools are cheap
Reality – Commercial tools are cheap

Per seat license for most expensive automation tool is $8K

This tool will be used for 5 years.

Maintenance/Support fees are 20% of tool cost or $1,800 per year

The cost of this tool is $8K/5+$1,800 = $3,100 per year

The automation developer cost with overhead is $100K per year

The cost of this tool is just 3% of the person who uses it, but productivity gain can be very significant

commercial tool benefits
Commercial Tool Benefits:

Customer support. Many of the open source tools come and go with little to no support

Most commercial tools are constantly being updated as technologies change

Most commercial tools usually have more functionality (QTP can test various GUI applications: Web, .Net, Java, VB, C/C++, PowerBuilder, etc. vs. WATIR – Web only)

Commercial tools usually have a large community of users, which translates into better availability of qualified resources

Commercial tools require less advanced programming

More test automation frameworks are available for commercial tools

Commercial tools are integrated with Test Management tools which make reporting and execution much simpler.

classic roi calculation
Classic ROI Calculation


Automation Cost = Price Of HW + Price of SW + Development Cost + Maintenance Cost + Execution Cost

Manual Testing Cost = Development Cost + Maintenance Cost + Execution Cost

ROI = (Manual Testing Cost - Automation Cost)/Automation Cost

Looks right, doesn’t it?

problems with classic roi calculation
Problems with Classic ROI Calculation
  • You can’t compare Automated Testing and Manual Testing. They are not the same and they provide different information about the AUT.
  • You can’t compare cost of multiple execution of automated tests vs. manual tests. You would never dream of executing that many test cases manually.
automation real roi
Automation Real ROI

ROI value IS NOT the value of Automation vs. Cost of executing these tests manually

Automation ROI value IS the benefit of this type of testing, and it can be:

Reducing Time to Market / Execution Time

Increased Test Efficiency (Productivity)

Increased Test Effectiveness & test coverage

Decrease in test defects escaping to production

Improved test repeatability

reduced time to market
Reduced Time to Market

Can get a greater market share

Makes people available to work on other projects

Higher margins, if no competitive products are currently available

productivity and effectiveness
Productivity and Effectiveness

More testing gets done faster, increasing the odds of finding defects

Defects found early have better chances to be fixed

Manual Testers can concentrate on clever ways to finding defects, instead of typing test inputs and verify output.

About 7% of bug fixes create new bugs, sometimes in already tested parts of the system. With automation you can rerun tests for those modules. This almost never happened when testing done manually.

manual vs automated testing example
Manual VS Automated Testing Example
  • There is a suite of manual test cases that have been deemed as candidates for automation. When run manually, the execution can start immediately (ITC = 0 days). It takes the manual testing team seven business days to execute all of the test cases (TEC = 7 days). The Total Testing Time will always be a linear factor of seven days.
  • If the test cases are to be automated it will take 30 business days to complete (ITC = 30 days). Once the test scripts have been written it takes half of a business day to complete the tests with the necessary hardware resources (TEC = 0.5 days).
roi summary
ROI summary

Each project requires different types of automation - there is no easy formula available to calculate ROI

Performing ROI calculation can help to determine upfront what type of automation, what level of skills, what tools will be required.