This the fourth and final blog post in our series about AlfaPeople Automated Testing for Microsoft Dynamics 365. We’ve been looking into the key benefits, the business case and the technology behind it all. Now, I’ll give you my primary recommendations on how to get started with automated testing.
Make use of experts
You need an experienced test-manager or consultant to facilitate the process of designing your test. The resource does not need to be an expert in the automation of the test but should be experienced in building a stable, maintainable and extendable test-suite, which is essential for great results. The resource brings the competence and focus to challenge the end-users in order to achieve unambiguous checkpoints, proper documentation, inclusion of negative testing, relevant test-data e.g.
Remember to always consider the time after the initial creation. You must have continuous access to the testing capabilities to maintain and extend your test suite – both functionally and technically.
Do not ease into automated testing
The ROI in your business case should justify a proper initial investment to build a qualitative and test suite. However, if you want to start small, I recommend building great coverage for a narrowly scoped functionality piece by piece. You should prioritize low-hanging fruits first. Focus on the parts of your system which is most critical, most cumbersome to test and/or creates the largest number of support cases.
Wait until your processes are somewhat stable
Maintaining your test-scripts is not that time-consuming. However, I have seen projects, where the limited resources dedicated for test automation was constantly used for adjusting existing scripts instead of increasing the test coverage. As a result, the test coverage remained on the low side, and the benefits of having automated testing were never really harvested.
I recommend retaining the investment for automated testing until your critical processes are somewhat stable. If you want to build your test while developing the system, I really recommend having the test-scripts developed 1-2 sprints after the functionality is built.
Integrated part of your delivery model
You must ensure that test automation is an integrated part of every step in your development and maintenance cycle. New changes must be accommodated, the test must be triggered in relevant and frequent intervals and the test report must be directed and attended by the relevant personal.
I recommend handling extensions of your automated test suite as a regular change request. Have the Product Owner entity (Person or Group) prioritize the expansion of the test automation coverage in the same list as feature requests. In simple terms, do they want the extra field or do they want to reassure that the existing field always works?
I hope this series of blog posts have inspired you to deep dive into test automation of your Microsoft Dynamics 365 solution. If you have not yet read our other 3 blog posts on this topic, you can find them here:
- It’s just so obvious! 4 reasons why Automated Testing for Microsoft Dynamics 365 makes big business sense
- The ultimate Business Case for Automated Testing on Microsoft Dynamics 365
- All you need to know about the technology behind Automated Testing for Microsoft Dynamics 365
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