By Debasis Mohanty . June 14, 2021 . Blogs

Do you really need Test Automation?

Last week we were having a call with one of our Clients about some additional Quality Assurance services that our company has to offer. Test automation was also a part of it. After a fifteen – twenty minutes of detailed discussion on the additional testing services, they asked us a simple question “Do we really need Test Automation?” The question was a straight one and they were expecting a “Yes” or “No” as an answer but for us the answer was not that simple.


As per the data available in public domain, around 63% of all Test automation projects have failed to achieve expected goals and around 50% of procured test automation tools have never been re-used after completion of a project. With these facts in mind, one can easily consider Test automation to be a rather risky proposition. But before we draw any conclusion, we need to consider how the successful projects (remaining 37%) made it work in their favour.

For any successful implementation of Test automation, it is critical that we evaluate and confirm whether test automation is actually required. There are so many myths built around test automation which most organizations believe it’s a panacea to all their quality related ailments. So we need to look beyond those myths and conduct a proper evaluation to determine its usefulness

An example: Most of the time the very objective of starting a test automation activity is to save time, cost and efforts in a project. But on the contrary Test automation involves higher initial investment to procure tools and conduct training, needs specialized resources (hence effort) and additional time to prepare automation scripts.  The benefit of test automation can only be realized over a period of time depending on the reusability of scripts and frequency of execution.

Therefore performing a ROI analysis on each automation initiative is an objective way to conclude the type and the extent of automation that is required / beneficial for a project.


A simple analysis can be done by executing these following steps to determine the need of automation for a project.  (There are some cool tools available in the market to conduct this ROI analysis, but my suggestion is use an excel sheet with your own parameters. It’s much simpler, quicker and cost-effective way to come to a conclusion)

  • Step1: Calculate Potential Effort and Cost savings through Automation

Following points need to be considered while coming up with total potential effort and cost saving figures

  • All activities in a Testing life cycle should be considered. Remember, test automation is not limited to test execution. It can also be used to reduce effort for activities like test environment setup and test data creation
  • Break down all these activities to combination of independent task groups
  • Consider the frequency and number of repetitions for each task group as per Test plan and Test scripts
  • Assign a reusability index (i.e. probability of reusing the same task in future projects) for each task group
  • Step2: Calculate Total Cost of Automation

Following points need to be considered while calculation total cost

  • Technology requirement for automation of tasks
  • Cost of Tools that supports automation for these technology
  • Skill requirement for implementing test automation
  • Overall effort for building automation scripts for the required task groups
  • Step 3: Optimize the scope of Automation
  • Most of the time organizations end up trying to automate each and every step of Test cycle
  • Now if we go by this approach, more often than not we’ll end up having a negative ROI result. Because automation only make sense when it can be reused over a long period of time.
  • Therefore we need to prepare multiple automation models and subject them to the ROI calculation process to come up with an optimized automation model which can be implemented for the project.
  • Automation models are created by varying the scope of automation from everything to nothing. Different task groups with less frequency, less repetition and less reusability index can be removed strategically from the scope of automation to come up with multiple models.

Based on the above process an optimized Automation model can be derived for the project, which can add value and help to achieve the goal of automation for the client successfully

Now that we’ve decided an optimized automation model for the Project, the next step is to implement the same. Next time we’ll discuss the approach for successful implementation of Test automation in a project.

In the meanwhile please feel free to share your queries and views on the topic through comments in this blog.

Debasis Mohanty

Debasis heads the delivery for all client engagements at Verinite. He has a long track record of delivering high quality, responsive, secure and cost-effective business and technology solutions in BFSI domain. Outside his work, he is an amateur animator, a sports enthusiast, a voracious reader and a Trivia buff.

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