November 15, 2012

Challenges in Test Automation

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Test Automation Life Cycle is the subset of Software Testing Life Cycle. Through automation, we can expedite the process of validating software and it reduces time and effort to deliver quality product. Of course, there are challenges exists from all the angles while automating application under test (AUT). In this blog post, we will see about challenges in test automation that I faced during my tenure.


First, we will see what are all the pre-requisites required to automate AUT.

  • Manual Test Case Pack
    • This manual test case pack should be analyzed. Only the right candidates should exist in this pack.
    • This should have expected test result for validation
    • Test Environment
    • Test Data
    • Tools, Licenses, Plug-ins, Add-ins and Patches

Challenges from Test Cases Pack front

In this section, I have listed out the challenges from manual test cases pack.

  • Incorrect analysis of manual test cases. Time and effort might go vain, if feasibility analysis went wrong.
  • Lack of pre-requisites or entry criteria.
  • Lack of expected results or screenshots for unit testing or scripting
  • Time based scenarios should be out-of-scope

Challenges from Tools front  

In this section, I have listed out the challenges from tools side.

  • Inappropriate tool selection
  • Limitations in tools
  • Unavailability of tools on time.
  • Unavailability of add-ins, plug-ins, and patches
  • Unavailability of third party tools / controls
  • Lack of tool support from vendor
  • Lack of User online community or forums
  • Object Repository Maintenance
  • Reengineering effort may be required when tool is getting upgraded to newer version, when the functionalities are getting deprecated.

Challenges from automation engineers’ front

In this section, I have listed out the challenges from automation engineers’ front.

  • Lack of tool knowledge
  • Lack of training resources
  • Lack of trained professionals
  • Lack in flexibility in learning new technologies and trends
  • Capability of adopting process oriented approach
  • Identifying the BEST way to automate
  • Lack in domain or AUT knowledge
  • Programming skills
  • Lack of knowledge in Framework creation and implementation

Challenges from Framework front

In this section, I have listed out the challenges from Framework front.

  • Lack in designing and implementing robust and flexible framework
  • In implementing exception handling and recovery scenarios
  • Reengineering of framework would be necessary if AUT is upgraded to newer / different technologies

Challenges from AUT front

In this section, I have listed out the challenges from the application front.

  • Application unavailability
  • Involvement of lots of interfaces (multiple applications used to accomplish the tasks)
  • Handling dynamic objects
  • AUT built on different or newer technologies

Challenges from higher management front

In this section, I have listed out the challenges from higher management front.

  • Delaying in approvals to procure tools
  • Lack in decision making to invest in tools
  • Understanding Return on Investment (ROI) factor
  • Continuous cost in maintenance

Here I listed out the challenges that I aware, if I missed out anything, please let me know in comments section.

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Image Credit : Microsoft Clipart

About NaveenKumar Namachivayam

Hi there! is a passionate and experienced Performance Test Analyst based in Chicago, USA with skill sets in Manual Testing, Test Automation, Performance Testing, and Test Estimation. He loves to learn and experiment new trends and models in Software Testing. Please stop by at his personal blogs: Excel Blog, DealsBrook,, and Affiliate Insights blog and Software Testing Memes.

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