Yes! You Can Avoid Automation Mistakes

When handling an automation testing project, you have got a great responsibility — Test fast, test often, test early, and test more & more to ensure the highest quality standards. In their desire to automate, QA teams often make mistakes that cost time, money, and trust and eventually which can lead to customer, revenue & reputation loss. The good news is that, in most cases, these mistakes can be avoided. Here are the top seven test automation mistakes your team should avoid.

Poorly Defined Scope

At the beginning of test automation, the team needs to identify the objectives of the automation. Teams must ask themselves:

  • Why are we going to automate this?
  • What are the risks being mitigated?
  • How will this speed up the testing process?

By defining the goals and expectations, you can ensure that you focus on the areas where QA testing will be most improved. Carefully define the goals and expectations for each automation initiative, and remember that every potential area of automation should contribute to “quality at speed” in a measurable way.

Not involving Exploratory Testing with Automation

Not incorporating exploratory testing in your testing routine is one of the common mistakes as an automation tester. Exploratory testing is a great adventure that helps in finding new test cases. Being just on the test scripts might ignore some unexpected and important test cases in automation testing. As a beginner, we just want to rely on scripts and pre-written tests, which should be avoided.

Not leveraging the Full Value of Automated Tests

Often teams miss integrating test automation with the CI/CD pipeline, which ultimately means that they are not leveraging the full value of automated tests or the CI/CD tool. The objective of continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) is to speed up the software release cycle. It enables teams to continually integrate any small incremental code changes, test them quickly, and make them available to end-users.

Test teams must create automated build acceptance, smoke, and/or limited regression test suites, and integrate them with their CI/CD pipeline to quickly deliver quality releases to the market.

Attempt to Replace Human Testing

Automation testing comes with its own set of benefits and limitations, there are still parts of testing that better suited for human eyes. For example, Usability and User Acceptance Testing (UAT) are better left to human test teams.

While automation can surely do a lot of testing in a very short time, still it cannot do everything. When planning tests, identify which tasks to automate and which are better performed by human testers. Automation should always be considered as a helping hand to human testers and not as a replacement.

Inappropriate Tool Selection

While there are a variety of factors that lead to poor decision-making and automation tool selection, the most common are as follows:

  • The testing requirements of the application under test are not analyzed thoroughly.
  • The test tool requirements are not laid out clearly.
  • The skillset or readiness of the test team is not accurately assessed.
  • Tool vendor and capability evaluation is not done or is done poorly.
  • The cost-benefit analysis is not performed, or the tool was selected solely because it was an ‘open source’.

Before making the selection, find out the problem you want to address. After the selection, run it through a holistic development lifecycle to make sure it works as per your expectation.

Not Paying Attention to Return on Investment (ROI )


Investment in automating a process is not limited to license purchase only, it requires so much more investment like :

  • Cost of installation, implementation, and support.
  • Hiring specialized staff / Training existing staff.
  • Additional tools and services.
  • Maintenance cost.
  • Running cost.

The whole idea of automation must be exposed to rigorous cost-benefit analysis to evaluate the tools and processes to be used over the long term to ensure that Return on Investment is secured.



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