How can you ensure customer satisfaction with QA Automation?
QA Automation has become an integral part of software development these days. Agility makes its omnipresence in software development and it becomes a challenge for QA Automation. However, as we get ourselves involved in delivering frequently to the customers, we no longer have the luxury of testing everything manually. The end goal of software development is to ensure customer receives what he/she wanted and he/she is satisfied with the delivery. QA Automation is also expected to support for this common goal. Though there are few hiccups, it is still achievable. We need to take care of few areas to make it happen.
“The best way to have a Good idea
is to have lots of ideas”
1. Setting up practical/feasible expectations
Understanding the clients’ requirement and setting up practical/feasible expectations between the automation team and the client (internal/external) is necessary for giving the right start to the QA Automation project. It helps both the parties to take the right direction. Any issues that can be raised in future can be avoided at the beginning itself.
2. Domain and functional knowledge of the application to be automated
Before automation planning, team should be well versed with both the domain and the functionality of the application to be automated. The automation team should always insist on necessary training and KT to ensure that it is well versed with the domain and functionality of the Application Under Test.
3. Automation tool selection/framework design
Selected automation tool should not be too complex to be adopted and implemented by the automation team. Advantages as well as limitations of the tool should be taken into consideration during framework design. The chosen framework should be flexible enough to easily accommodate future changes/enhancements in the application.
4. Team selection and training
Expertise with the selected automation tool should be sought while finalizing the automation team. If needed, training sessions should be arranged for the same. If the team is not familiar with the technology the test automation tool uses, or how to use and maintain the tool, the team would be ineffective in accomplishing their goals.
5. Understanding the complexity and technical challenges in automation
The automation team should understand and list down the complexities and technical challenges in their automation project by analyzing the functionalities of application like availability of the application, application inconsistencies, object identification issues etc. These things should be shared with the customer to ensure that they are aware of the challenges involved.
6. Setting right priorities to features/functionalities to be automated
ROI can be maximized by accurately prioritizing the features/functionalities to be automated. Stable and more frequently tested features should be given higher priority, and automated first. For example, tests for smoke and sanity features, and core functionalities of the application should be automated first.This informationhas to obtained from the customer.
7. Setting up delivery criteria/milestones
If different teams are working on automation development, execution, and maintenance, delivery criteria and milestones need to be set early on so as to hand over the ownership of developing the automation project to the other teams as well. The team responsible for the execution and maintenance of the automated tests should be trained to understand the automation tool and the designed framework, set up and maintain execution environments, and analyze execution results.
8. Gathering feedback from customers and other stakeholders at every stage
The automation team should take the customers’ feedback at every stage of automation to ensure that they are on the right path. Also, automation strategies/approaches need to be communicated with customer and functional experts, as functional experts may help by forecasting the obstacles that the automation team may face in the future.
QA Automation can definitely help in ensuring Customer satisfaction by taking care of all these things. What customers really want is to have quality deliverables within the stipulated timeframe. QA Automation is enabling the engineering teams to meet the customer needs, thus by ensuring customer satisfaction.