Making the Business Case for Automated Software Testing
In previous blogs, we have explored the many benefits of implementing Automated Software Testing throughout the software development process. These include saving time, decreasing costs and dramatically improving software quality. Once you understand the value of Automated Software Testing, how do you convince your team of its importance? In this series of blogs, we will focus on making the business case for Automated Software Testing.
A Three-Pronged Approach
A fully successful execution of Automated Software Testing is preceded by gathering all the stakeholders and spending time on the front end to make the business case for its value. In our experience, a solid business case has a three-pronged focus:
Identify the business need
Articulate the reasons for initiating Automated Software Testing. For example, your company may be missing deadlines due to the time delays associated with manual software testing. Maybe a previous project was too complex to test manually and, upon release, did not meet customer or user expectations. Or perhaps your costs are too high due to the labor involved in traditional testing.
Justify the business need in terms of costs and benefits
Calculate the potential Return on Investment (ROI). In most cases, incorporating Automated Software Testing into your program will require an initial investment in technology. If you spend the time up front to automate certain testing procedures, how quickly will you break even and begin reaping the benefits of automation? An experienced partner like IDT can help you with these calculations.
Include the expected risks
Analyze the potential risks in making procedural changes in your software development and testing. Think through the implications of the changes and present these to your team and upper management. Are there any events, actions or circumstances that will prevent the effort’s success? It is much better to consider these possibilities on the front end.
In our experience, large-scale Automated Software Testing projects are much more successful when the team has thought through the specific reasons for implementing Automated Software Testing, is aware of the costs and benefits, and has taken into account what is needed to be successful in terms of time, skills, and processes. These factors lay a solid foundation for selecting the best automated software testing product for your program’s needs. For all of these reasons, when introducing Automated Software Testing to your team, we highly encourage the discipline of developing the business case for its use. The team at Innovative Defense Technologies (IDT) can support your efforts.
Some information taken from: Dustin, Elfriede, Thom Garrett, and Bernie Gauf. Implementing Automated Software Testing: How to Save Time and Lower Costs While Raising Quality. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Addison-Wesley, 2009. This book was authored by three current IDT employees and is a comprehensive resource on AST. Blog content may also reflect interviews with the authors.