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Is There a Positive ROI in Automated Web Tests?

  •  9-29-2015

Automated testing saves time and money by finding bugs faster and running tests on repeat. This produces results and data more efficiently, so the developers can make changes faster. Most testing environments are suitable for automated testing. Another benefit is a better-supported development team.

However, the big question is always the same. Is there a positive ROI in automated web tests? The answer is yes.

Let’s take a look at how you can calculate your ROI and how automated testing will improve your projects.

ROI Analysis

Because automated testing does require an upfront project cost, there should be an ROI analysis done for projects. The goal is to reduce execution costs over the life of the project.

This means in order for you to understand how this will happen, you need to have some figures in place to calculate.

Without fully understanding what the ROI costs are, teams are less inclined to follow the laid out plans and strategies.  This means the ROI will not be maximized.

Your ROI Analysis will help identify which types of automated testing you want to implement and get your team ready.

ROI Formulas

There are a few ways to find your ROI. The basic formula for efficiency is:

ROI   = (Gain-Investment)/Investment

The complete project cost formula is:

Yearly Savings = Time (create and develop) x Frequency (how often tests are run) x (Cost to run the test)  x 12 months

The Problem With Using Formulas

You will find a positive ROI if you take the time to assess how many times each type of test will be running and look at your overall project.

But this does not take into account the other benefits of automated testing that add into the ROI, such as your most valuable resources now being more productive and focusing on tasks that before, due to time constraints, were not possible. Tasks like application analysis, test development and random testing.

If testing is not automated and developers are relying on manual testing, undiscovered bugs may not be found until the finished software is already with the client. This means post-delivery work will need additional time, resources and money that were not originally budgeted into the scope of the project.

Maximizing ROI

Efficient planning takes time, but it is well worth the effort. Assessments are needed to determine how many modules will require testing and how often. Look at the savings that will be gained from the continuous execution of tests. Lastly, implement automated testing based on outcomes instead of the project size.

Manual testing cannot test infinite users of an application. Automated tests can. This feature should always be taken advantage of by writing tests for the amount of users predicted to use the program, and in the same way actual users would deploy the program.  This same logic applies to testing a future time point. Developers can create scenarios actual human users may encounter in the future, such as completing a task a year out and receiving an automated email response and access to a new section of a site.

Sampling Automated Testing ROI Benefits

Automated Integration Testing

Automated integration testing can verify functionality, performance and reliability of the major design component requirements. Results will be sent back to developers faster.

Automated Unit Testing

The smallest testable units of code often default to manual testing. Manual testing, besides taking longer, is also less reliable. It relies on humans and thus, is susceptible to human error. Unit tests should be run as often as possible and automated testing makes this a reality. The more they run, the more time saved.

Automated System Integration Testing

When developers implement automated system integration testing, they confirm the data exchange between the imports and exports is continuous and successfully functioning.

Automated testing does have a positive ROI. To determine the ROI on automated testing, perform an ROI analysis. There are multiple ways to go about doing this. These numbers will reinforce why automated testing is the best choice in most testing scenarios. Make sure your entire team is on board with automated testing. Time wasted trying to convince them will not add to your ROI. Automated testing can improve both short-term goals and strategic plans in entirety. The increased productivity of the team and redirection of their focus to the most important projects is a highly valued benefit. Always use best practices when testing to avoid pitfalls that could hold things up and reduce the ROI.

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