Willy Wonka, Manual Testing and Automation

I love old movies and can watch my favorite ones over and over again, to my wife’s dismay. But once you’ve watched a film enough times, you tend to pay more attention to the background events and supporting characters in a scene, not the protagonists whose lines you already know by heart.

One of my favorite childhood movies is Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – the original film with Gene Wilder in the leading role. The special effects are ancient, but the lines are hysterically funny, and I must confess that I know all of the Oompa Lumpa songs. One of the more infamous characters in the movie is Slugworth, a peer of Wonka, who is seen whispering in the ears of each of the children visiting the Wonka Chocolate Factory, presumably to incent them to steal Wonka’s secrets. Nobody ever hears what he is saying to the boys and girls, but he captures all their attention.

Something similar seems to be happening in the Testing space regarding Test Automation. It’s as if vendors and pundits are whispering into the ears of CIOs and CTOs, telling them that Test Automation will solve all their test resource and agility challenges. These areas have significant challenges, but Test Automation alone is not the solution. Test Automation is becoming the ‘Slugworth’ of Quality Assurance. And companies are listening to this mantra with rapt attention.

Effective UAT and Accelerated Manual Test Management

Over the past year, my pre-sales team and I have participated in countless intro calls and demo sessions where the attendees expect to see “A Test Automation Solution” or “Test Automation Functionality.” During the introductions and discovery phases of the conversation, we regularly identify a major compelling event, typically of a transformative nature, that is spurring the company to seek a Test Automation solution, or the company is struggling to test effectively within agile delivery models. We articulate why their projects require effective UAT and accelerated manual test management.

Fundamental changes in underlying processes and user interfaces mandate efficient UAT to validate the new functionality before it gets deployed into production. Then and only then can automation assets be crafted to run efficient regression tests. We also volunteer the grim reality that companies who invested a lot of money in building automation assets have no choice but to invest additional resources to remediate much of those assets after their transformative initiatives go live. Yes, Test Automation is a nirvana in many ways, but it is imperfect because manual UAT must always play a critical, initial role in change validation. Once these messages sink in, it’s as if a light bulb goes off, and they understand that jumping to an automation platform is putting the cart before the horse.

When it comes to agile delivery, the compelling need is to optimize the number of tests being run to meet delivery timelines. The assumption is that Test Automation can quickly and easily validate the deliverables within an agile scrum cycle, saving much time and manual resources. But the same issues apply. Existing automated test assets cannot validate fundamental changes made to an existing process. They can only validate secondary functionality that potentially may be impacted by the pending changes (aka regression). So faster innovation streams and major transformational initiatives must rely on UAT to ensure that go-live errors are not being introduced into production. An effective test management platform that optimizes test scope is a critical component of agile development.

Existing Automated Tests Need UAT For Validation

Existing automated tests play a crucial role in ensuring the functionality and reliability of software systems. However, to truly validate their effectiveness and accuracy, User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is indispensable. UAT provides real-world scenarios and user perspectives that automated tests might overlook, uncovering potential issues that could impact user experience. By integrating UAT into the validation process alongside automated tests, organizations can ensure that their software not only meets technical requirements but also fulfills user expectations and business needs.

Panaya Test Dynamix: Top Rated UAT Accelerators

Panaya’s test management platform offers a comprehensive, SaaS-based solution whose powerful UAT accelerators have earned it the top rating on G2.com (please visit the site and don’t take my word for it). Panaya reduces the time and cost of testing by 50%+. And that means your upgrades, conversions, and business-driven innovations are validated quickly and completely. Better yet, we can correlate test assets (even your existing ones, built years ago) to the technical risk being introduced by your changes. So you’ll know exactly what to test (manual and automated), what not to test, and what impacted areas have no test coverage. We will even tell you which automated assets will require remediation due to technical changes that impact your critical business processes. Using Panaya will make your initiatives, big and small, go live faster and more successfully.

Panaya is the ‘Golden Ticket’ to ensuring faster and safer innovation streams.

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