Top 5 Factors that Influence your E-Commerce Automation Strategy

How to Implement an Automation Strategy?

A man in brown jacket implementing automation startegies
Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash
  • A functionality, in its early days, will score high on business relevance.
  • Initially, unstable functionality will score high on defect density.
  • Functionality that’s impacted heavily by the introduction of another would score high for impact.

Top 5 Key Factors influencing Automation Strategy

1. Importance of Risk Analysis Done Right

The value of automation is not just about risk analysis, it is also about the level of risks being mitigated. Assessment of risk doesn’t depend on defect density alone. How much of a risk is it for the organization if something doesn’t work? How much of an impact does it cause to the end-user? How much reputational damage does it cause to your organization? A tester, on his own, cannot arrive at the answers to such questions, and that’s why consistent communication with business teams is crucial. James Bach published a paper called Heuristic Risk-Based Testing, which provides a list of key questions to evaluate risks in an enlightened manner. Although risk analysis doesn’t play a part in the technical implementation of automation, it does play a key role in the initial stages to help decide what needs to be automated and what’s important in the eyes of the key stakeholders involved.

2. Use Objective Criteria as Key Measures

It’s always a good practice to start automating a list of objective statements that are critical to the application, such as those that address the highest risk areas, like the first cut. Objective criteria are facts that are known and do not change and most functional requirements can be taken up as examples for objective criteria.

3. Be Careful What You Choose To Evaluate

Automation tests can validate only what they have been coded to validate. So when trying to assess the cost and value of automation, do not just observe the time it would take to automate a workflow. Also, be sure to think of the number of manual tests it would prevent you from running, and the resulting amount of bugs…and their severity had you chosen to test the workflows manually. T. This is termed opportunity cost, where you choose to invest effort in doing automation instead of doing something else.

4. The Hunt for Repetition

Seeking repetition is one of the key steps that help you decide what to automate. It could either be a repetition of testing activities — a functionality that you have to go through every single time to test others, or the repetition in code. For example, the same widget is being used in several parts of the application. In both cases, we can use automated scripts to validate and confirm if the behavior of the repetitive workflow is consistent across multiple builds and browsers, and whether the widget behaves the same way everywhere in the application. We can reuse the same automation code if the widget is used elsewhere in the product in the future. Collaboration helps a tester during the hunt for repetition. Developers can guide testers to discover unknown or unobserved code repetitions and help reduce automation code redundancy.

5. Change in Organization’s Strategy

This criterion applies to only long-running products. Product strategy is bound to evolve as the technology landscape changes and the market caters to these evolving requirements. As features are added to the product and existing features are modified, those previously considered risks might become trivial, but new risks might evolve. As features get modified or added, what’s objective and what’s repetitive might also change. The time available for automation can also change. So it’s important to keep apprised of these changes when evaluating automation strategy. Understanding the cadence of organizational change is crucial such as does it change frequently or rarely, and are the changes predictable or unpredictable? The pace and nature of the change will impact the decisions you make for the automation framework and design. Based on these organizational changes, you can decide what to automate with a forecast of how things might change in the future to keep your solution relevant.

When Does a Workflow Qualify for Automation?

We should evaluate the following points thoroughly before deciding on the workflows to be automated.

  • Is the workflow frequently subject to human error during manual testing?
  • Is the workflow stable, low risk, and expected to have minor to no changes in the future?

What Type of Workflows Should Be Automated?

As a rule of thumb, it is prescribed that automation of the highest priority workflows be taken up first. However, when deciding what type of workflows need to be automated, the following questions should be asked and answered with complete clarity.

  • Does the workflow encompass legal and compliance-related matters?
  • Is the workflow a critical path? Is it complex and time-consuming to be executed manually?
  • Is it frequently reused as a prerequisite during manual testing to perform other functionalities?
  • Is there a lot of data setup involved?
Evaluation Table for a typical Ecommerce application from Payoda Tecnologiez
  • Most popular devices on which real-time users access your application.
  • Most popular browsers with which end users access your application.
  • Most popular workflows that customers perform in your application.
  • Most frequent points of jump — points in the application after which the end-user ceases to use it because of bad UI/UX or complexity, lack of intuitiveness, or a host of other reasons.

Automation Strategy vs Product Strategy

Observing the bigger picture and understanding the product strategy is key because it directly impacts automation strategy. For example, consider the examples below of three different types of products and think about how the automation strategy differs in each.

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Payoda Technology Inc

Payoda Technology Inc

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