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Perform POC for Automation Testing Project

December 7, 2017 ,

Will you be willing to get checked up and prescribed by an untrained nurse who has never seen a patient and was responsible for the patient appointments only? Probably not. Yet many organization are following this trend resulting unclear requirements implementation, bad delivery, lost profit, time, resources and unsatisfied client. 

Smart organizations always follow some procedure and have their standard operating procedure (also referred as SOP) defined which help them deliver consistent quality output with increased productivity.

Similarly, each organization that is following the conventional manual testing approach will be having a defined process. Before deciding to shift for automated testing approach, they need to determine the benefits and risks involved with introducing the new process. To serve this purpose a Proof of Concept is made.Today we will be discussing Proof of Concept abbreviated as POC implementation for automated testing.

What is POC?

As the name suggests it’s a proof to demonstrate what our client’s expectations, requirements and how they will be aiming to be practically achievable. It helps both parties in a better understanding of the application.

What is POC for Automated Testing

When an organization who has been doing manual testing decides to shift towards automation testing, a POC document for automated testing is created.

This contains a complete feasibility analysis report of the best available tool in contrast with the manual testing approach. Top 5 or 3 best-automated tools can be studied and each tool result is compared.

POC for automation testing (Read on Automated testing here) is very much needed as it directly plays an important role towards the company growth.

Explains automation testing process

Example of Automated testing solution

Let’s take a real example where you are given just 02 days of the testing deadline. You will prefer manual testing over automated testing. But in a case where you have to input 8 – 10 pages of forms data to complete a mortgage request process for 50 – 100 employees, and check each data is been inserted in the database, you will be preferring an automated solution, a tool that can ease and quickens the task.

Why is it used?

POC is used to create an end to end scenario to evaluate whether the tool can support the automation of the application under test (AUT) or not. Any test case that covers major functions of the system can be used to automate.

How POC help win projects

Most clients nowadays are moving towards automating their processes or part of their projects however they are still a bit hesitant into placing the pen on paper to finalize the deals. This is where POCs can be a huge benefit. Nothing more is going to convince the customer than to see one of their processes automated. This does not have to be a major process but a small and important one. It also does not need to be completely automated. It should be just enough to show to the customer the effectiveness and to finalize the sale.

Who creates a POC

The POC should always be created by the team creating the end product. An automation testing implementation POC can be voluntarily created by any of the QA team members or a leader who has knowledge of the automation testing and tools.

When should a test automation POC be made

  1. If you have already worked on a similar project that got delayed out, a POC can be made to limit the scope.
  2. In case of a project that requires complex calculations, extra manual tester effort and input of heavy data.
  3. If the project has lengthy repetitive regressions every time a new build is deployed.
  4. When the application is stable but still repetitive testing is done on each new build.

How to implement automation testing POC

Before implementing automation testing POC, we need to understand and evaluate if the following requirements are met or not?

  1. What is the project type, a web-based, desktop based or a mobile app?
  2. Can the project be automated using the tool?
  3. Is the company willing to buy a paid automation tool?
  4. Will the tool supports the technology of application under test (AUT)
  5. Will the tool be of any help against the manual testing?
  6. Can the tool recover from failure scenarios itself?
  7. Is there any additional hardware cost involved with the tool?
  8. Is there training requirements or a specialized resource requirement for the tool?

If you have the answers, you may proceed to create the POC and you will be required to conclude the following points:

  1. An Open source v/s a paid tool
  2. How long it will take to automate the project
  3. Does the automation require a change in the development? (As the tool identifies objects using unique IDs)
  4. What type of testing can be done
  5. Selection of the most important test cases that depicts most of the system functionality
  6. Support for cross-browser testing
  7. Handling of all validation a manual tester will be doing vs. the automated testing support.

What needs to be included in a POC Template

An impressive POC must contain the following points:

  1. What is the requirement for POC?
  2. Analysis of available automation tools.
  3. Comparison of the tools with implementation.
  4. Automating a test case using the top 3 tools full filling the project requirements
  5. The solution, best tool that should be selected.
  6. The result set, reports of the chosen tool
  7. Handling a failed scenario using the tool.
  8. Areas that can’t be automated with the tool like Captcha, Flash file, video streams, non-static images.
  9. Maintenance cost of executing and updating the test scripts.
  10. Defining runtime handling of values will be a plus

Results of POC

  1. None of the tool meets the requirements.
  2. One of the tools partially meets the requirements
  3. Tool meets all the project requirements

Once the POC has been delivered to the concerned stakeholders, the next step is to create a pilot project using the tool.

Implementing a Pilot Project

A pilot project is the demonstration of the tool with the following objectives:

  1. Important business test cases which will confirm whether the tool should be used or not.
  2. Any standard way of using the tool for all users for e.g. defining naming conventions, test repository, guidelines required to be used with the tool
  3. Benefits from the tool like improved accuracy, increased productivity, efficiency, identification of errors, decreased time, cost etc.
  4. Estimate and measure cost of the tool.

Pilot Project steps

Once the objectives are defined, follow the below steps:

Step 1: Select the test case to be converted into a test script

Step 2: Decide Automation scripting technique

Step 3: Develop script and execute it

Step 4: Analyze results.

Step 5:  Analyze reporting, whether they are capable of displaying required output or not.

Step 6: Maintenance of automation scripts on change request

Presentation Phase

When the pilot project is successfully created, it is presented to all the stakeholder. A key to getting an approval is presenting everything in a positive way. Follow the below points during the presentation:

  1. Define manual testing efforts, challenges faced in each testing cycle and how they can be overcome using the automated tool
  2. Define selection of this particular tool on the basis of POC.
  3. Present automation features and how it eases the entire testing phase.
  4. Highlight how a bug can be identified during automation and how it can be logged
  5. Highlight the results summary and status of each test case
  6. Highlight the snapshots taken by the tool while executing the script
  7. Highlight how the tool can be used in a failure scenario
  8. Highlight how the test details can be auto-scheduled (if using QTP) and executes on its own
  9. And finally, show how much testing time is reduced

Conclusion

No doubt the manual testing process is irreplaceable. On the other hand, the tools can always seem to be beneficial but the need for automation highly depends on project nature and time constraints.

Concluding today’s topic we can say POC document plays a vital role before introducing test automation technique, as it’s always a good practice to have a proof of what you are doing and what will be its outcome.

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