Many know that software testing is very important before rolling out to production and to critical users. But…. a few people like to do it. People expect software to work flawlessly but any bug or mistake can be blown up. Over the years, cloud software has made expectations even higher due to the architecture and controlled environment. As you have adopted the SuccessFactors platform, you may expect that a quarterly release should be as simple as the latest iPhone software upgrade. Unfortunately, that is not true yet. Enterprise Software is complex and although SuccessFactors is leading the market in stability there is a need to test every process after every configuration change or update.
Automated testing has been around for a while and in this article, we look deeper into when this is a smart choice for SuccessFactors. Let’s start with what automated testing really is. With automated testing, test cases are executed with the assistance of tools, scripts, and software.
Now, there are many different types of testing. They range from integration testing to load testing and usability to exploratory testing. Not all are fit to automate, but one of the most time-consuming tests, regression, is. With regression testing, you test if the system still works as expected, if it didn’t regress after the update or configure changes. Regression testing is done by re-running the same scenario’s before and after the change and check if nothing has been broken. Regression tests can include load, functional and unit testing.
Humans are smart and creative, but they are not the best creatures to do repetitive tasks. Robots, on the other hand, excel in it. Usability testing is a test which determines if an application is easy to use. This is a good example where humans are better equipped to the task.
If we look at Automated vs Manual testing we see the following differences:
Manual Testing Automated Testing
Stability High Low
Consistency Low High
Speed Low High
Cost per test High Low
Risk High Low
Stability – if you don’t change your system too frequent, let’s say less than once a year, you should test manual. Most likely manual testing is faster than and more cost-effective than investing and setting up automated testing. If you have more frequent changes every 6 months, it makes sense to consider automated testing.
Consistency – if you test after every change you will know which change is causing the problem. If you only test after 5 changes, it’s a lot harder to figure out which change caused the problem. With the speed and convenience of automated testing, it will help you to run tests more frequently and quickly find the issues when they arise.
Speed – this is an important one. Manual testing is time-consuming. Planning resources to be available for testing and making sure they’re trained to test can be a challenge. Automated testing does take time, but it runs significantly faster than a human and it can be done overnight or in the weekends. This is a huge advantage if system changes need to be deployed quickly. Automated testing significantly improves business agility.
Cost per test – Automated testing is more expensive to set-up than manual testing a couple of times. But, the cost per test quickly diminishes. A break-even point can be reached already by running a test 5 times.
Risk – If your HR system consists of confidential information, and it almost always does, there are risks where improper testing will expose sensitive information. This can lead to direct or indirect financial loss. Fines for non-compliancy with GDPR are steep and exposed salary or performance rating information can result in an unengaged workforce. As we know, manual processes have a higher failure rate than automated processes.
Automated testing will reduce the need for manual testing significantly and make your business more agile, save you money and strongly reduce your risk. Just make sure you use it effectively.
Interested to learn more? We can provide a demo of how our library of automated tests for SuccessFactors will increase your coverage, reduce risk and make quarterly updates a breeze.
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