About Automation Testing: Goals and Objectives You Should Know

January 21, 2020 • Zachary Amos


If you’re working in development and need to test an automated app or another kind of product that relies on automation to function, it’s crucial to think about your automation testing goals and objectives.

This overview of automation testing goals and objectives will help you get off to a strong start and create tests that make you feel confident that your product is behaving as it should.

The Automated Product Is High-Quality and Reliable

One of the first things to keep in mind about testing for automation is that it’s not as different as you may think from what you’d do if testing a non-automated product.

Sometimes, you check for the same things regardless of if whatever you’re testing has an automated component. For example, you want tests that determine that your product is high-quality and that it shows consistent reliability.

If you don’t get the same results repeatedly during your tests, that could indicate there’s still too much variability, and the product isn’t ready for the market yet. Keep in mind that you must check how the product performs on different operating systems to design an accurate test.

The Product Works on Devices That People Actually Use

It’s easy for some development companies, particularly smaller ones, to not test their automated products extensively enough. For example, if an app that uses automation is smartphone-based, a business that’s responsible for testing might overlook adequate testing on older models or phones that are not very popular in a given market.

But, so-called functional testing can help. It works best when the test parameters mirror the requirements of a user, business or industry that you intend to use the product.

You start by listing the features that the product should offer. Then, create tests that assess whether those features work as expected and that they perform that way on the devices people will use while interacting with your automated product.

One effective way to stay abreast of the most popular devices is to purposefully set aside time to keep up with industry news. Even if you already have what seems like a full schedule, the time you take to continually learn about relevant happenings could improve your testing efforts, plus make you more of an asset to your company.

You Get Satisfying Results After Testing

When testing a product — automated or not — you and your fellow team members will undoubtedly have some thresholds that you want to meet. Achieving those things, then, would mean that the test results were satisfying. If your automated product uses artificial intelligence (AI), it may seem difficult to define what constitutes “satisfying” results. Start with intended performance as you set automated testing goals and objectives for what’s satisfying.

For example, if you built an automated, AI-based tool that detects abnormalities in brain scans, you’d want the product to do better at finding problems than a trained physician. If it couldn’t, people likely wouldn’t feel compelled to start using it instead of letting humans keep taking care of the job.

The Acceptable Level of Performance Falls Within Your Defined Range

In an earlier section, we discussed how it’s essential to determine whether whatever you’re testing gives high-quality performance and does so with reliable consistency. However, perhaps your automated product has a machine learning element. If so, that means it gets more intelligent with use. Then, your definition of high-quality performance should change over time.

For example, what you deem acceptable for a machine learning product that’s existed for a month should be vastly different from what you expect after a year of use. As you carry out machine learning testing, you’ll validate models.

An automated product built with machine learning uses those models to function. However, model validation for machine learning produces approximations in a range rather than exact results.

That means you and the other members of your testing team will need to determine the acceptable range. Once you’ve done that, it’ll be easier to proceed with testing and study the outcomes you get.

Take the Time Required to Create Your Testing Plan

The automation testing goals and objectives covered here are enough to kickstart your ideas concerning the things you should be mindful of when moving forward.

Some of the principles of testing a product that features an automated component are the same that you’d follow when assessing something that’s not automated. But, as some of the above content suggests, you may need to do particular things differently.