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Top Metrics & Measures to Determine Test Automation’s True ROI

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Test automation is critical in a fast-paced agile development environment for releasing products faster by speeding up the test execution cycle, improving efficiency, and finding regression errors early. However, if we cannot assure the effectiveness of this process, test automation investments may be wasted. Test automation metrics reveal whether your approach is effective.

Before diving deep into test automation metrics, let us understand what test coverage and automation coverage are.

What is test coverage?

Test coverage is defined as “What are we validating and how much are we validating?” It addresses both business and testing requirements. It is frequently confused with Code Coverage. Even though the fundamentals are the same, the points are distinct.

Test coverage ensures that all requirements are confirmed and is a QE team pursuit. On the other hand, Code Coverage refers to unit testing procedures that must be directed at all portions of the code at least once and are carried out by developers.

What is test automation coverage?

In simple words, it shows how much coverage your automation suite is offering vs. how much testing is being done manually. It provides an impartial sense of your QE process that can help you identify and resolve pain points while improving your test automation performance:

Test Automation Coverage = Number of tests automated/Number of total tests written

Quality Metrics for Test Automation:

It is critical to measure what we do and what we measure too. Though there are many metrics that we can collect for measuring how we are doing in terms of test automation, we think the following metrics are worth considering starting, and later you can add more as we make some progress on these ones:

  • Automation Progress

This metric refers to the number of automated test cases at any given time. This shows how you’re progressing toward your goal over time and whether there are any significant deviations during the automation testing process. This tells you nothing about the quality of the tests written; therefore, it is essential to ensure that automated tests are as effective as manual tests in catching defects.
Automation Progress % = (Number of automated tests / automatable tests) * 100

  • Automation Stability

This indicates how well your test automation suite runs over time. If your tests are failing (flaky failures over time), that is a decent statistic to tell if your tests are not stable. Also, in case there are false failures (false positives and false negatives), it becomes an early warning sign that your test automation suite is not dependable.

Automation Stability % = (Number of failed cycles due to flakiness or false failures / Total Number of execution cycles) * 100

  • Automation Execution Time

This indicates how long does the entire automation suite test execution take? Agile software development is all about speed, and the test automation suite should run quickly and not cause any unnecessary delays. This does not tell you anything about the quality of the tests performed. It just has to do with time.

Execution Time = End Time of automation run – Start Time of automation run

  • Automatable Test Cases

This can assist you in identifying where you are prioritizing automation and what components/features might still necessitate manual validations. It is helpful in preparing the appropriate testing strategy and creating a balance between automated and manual testing.

% Automatable = (Number of automatable tests / Number of total tests Written) * 100

Bottom line: Metrics are an important indicator of the health and success of an automated testing effort, but they should not be used as team performance goals. It is used to assess the tests, not the team.

Since many companies have set up automation test suites to expedite their test execution cycle, selecting the right tools and contemplating useful test automation metrics are worth considering.

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