When should be automated?

When executing regression tests solely manually, this can surpass the effort of programming quickly when there are lots of changings and time spent for the testing of existing functionalities for quality assurance.

We recommend unit tests by the developers and brief manual tests.

Advantages of test automation

Test automation offers the following advantages for testers and the whole project:

The tester can focus on new/difficult test scenarios such as Test architecture, test case creation and improvement of test quality.

He or she won't have to do boring manual tests anymore.

The tests are:

  • reproducible as often as you want
  • regular
  • faster
  • reliable
  • less prone to errors due to manual errors
  • cost efficient via nightly batch runs.

So you can get fast feedback about quality in increasing projects quickly (agile approach) in agile software development and bigger and more complex projects.

To automate or not to automate

When will the test tool be amortized?

The initial effort for automating tests is usually greater than doing manual tests.

With test automation (e.g. with QF-Test) after the third test cycle a positive balance can be reached already concerning test expenses. The individually reached ROI can vary of course.

In agile software development the ROI is reached faster due to shorter iteration cycles (daily at best) than in classical development and QA approaches.

One hour of manual testing is automated in 1,5 to 2 hours.

Ralph van Roosmalen, QA Manager

Planon, Netherlands

Automated tests and Return on Inverstment (ROI)

Handling the increasing testing effort

Due to the consecutive development cycles more and more functionalities must be tested. The increasing test effort can just be handled with test automation.

In the course of time a great test base is created and for a maximum test coverage further tests are recorded bit by bit when there are new features.

Agile software development has lots of iterations and that's the reason why test automation is a necessity - in addition to unit tests and single manual tests.

Time savings due to automation in practice:
Practical examples of QF-Test users

Time before automationTime after automationCitation
8 weeks1 weekSean Kane, Manager of Test Engineering, Intervoice Inc., Dallas, USA:
But now we can regression test the application in 1 week. It used to take 8 weeks.
2 weeks5 daysGadi Goldbarg, Development Tools, QA Team Leader, Zend, Ramat Gan, Israel:
The usage of QF-Test has reduced my test cycle from 2 weeks (plus/minus) to 5 days (since not all is automated yet).
1 day3 hoursDenis Gauthier Software Integration, Thales Australia, Melbourne:
Regarding the time saving aspect, it usually took me a full day to perform the Non-Regression Tests. It has now been reduced to three hours. (see complete case study).
1 dayless than 1 hourPhil Cross, Lockheed Martin, Owego New York, USA:
Regression testing of our Java application that previously took a full day to execute is now done in less than an hour with QF-Test. 
7-8 hours1,5 hoursHeidi Klade, Logistik Pur Software GmbH, Koppl near Salzburg, Austria:
Our tests run for about 90 minutes. I suppose that a manual test run would last about 7-8 hours of concentrated work. 
 Reduction of almost 50%CertiCon, Prague, Czech Republic:
In a matter of months we succeeded in reducing the test processing time by almost 50%, adding hundreds of additional test cases. (see complete case study).


You can find the complete citations here: Advantages for decision-makers

Phases of the test process with high influence on the ROI

The three pink phases of the test process (see image on the left) Test case development, test case execution and maintenance of test cases influence the return on investment (ROI) during the automation of tests the most.

Testing process with high impact on ROI

Test case development

The implementation of the test cases with the tool need time, money and resources. Therefore this initial investment recoup during the test cycles. When you test manually, you should create here instructions for the testers costly.

Test case execution

In comparison to manual testing, that is slow and causes high costs for hardware and personnel, automated testing is fast and uses the hardware optimally. The test tool is very reliable in test execution.

Maintenance of test cases

The test cases must be adapted to GUI changes (Maintenance). However, the advantage of QF-Test is, that you have to make these changes just once. Furthermore modularization and a good recognition of the components is possible. With manual tests you would just adapt the instructions after fundamental changes.