Effective Management of Test Automation Failures

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By Hung Q. Nguyen, CEO, President, LogiGear Corporation
In recent years, much attention has been paid to setting up test automation frameworks which are effective, easy to maintain, and allow the whole testing team to contribute to the testing effort. In doing so, we often leave out one of the most critical considerations of test automation: What do we do when the test automation doesn't work correctly?
Testing teams need to develop a practical solution for determining who's accountable for analyzing test automation failures, and ensure that the right processes and skills exist to effectively do the analysis.  There are three primary reasons why your test automation may not work correctly:
  1. There is an error in the automated test itself
  2. The application under test (AUT) has changed
  3. The automation has uncovered a bug in the AUT
The first step whenever a failed test occurs in test automation is to figure out what happened. So who should be doing this?
Too often in testing organizations, it's the case that as soon as a test engineer runs into a problem with the test automation, they simply tell the automation engineer "Hey, the test automation isn't working!" The job of analysis then falls to the automation engineer, who is already overburdened with implementing/maintaining new and existing test automation.
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