How To Analyze Your Test Automation ROI
Test Automation is attractive, necessary and expensive too. The decision in front of the test manager is whether to invest in automated testing tools or continue with manual testing. Calculating ROI is an important step and here is how we go around it. And just as with Test Automation the analysis can be done manually or generated automatically with tools that are 3x Faster Test Automation accelQ ROI analysis is a good example in the industry.
ROI calculation is of many types including a simple ROI calculation, Efficiency ROI calculation, Risk Reduction ROI calculation are all various data analysis.
The ROI calculation for automation testing needs to be done in terms of days since automated tests can be run for 24 hours continuously; as opposed to 8 hours that is considered for manual testing. However, 18 hours seems more reasonable since sometimes the test cases are interrupted and do not run for 24 hours.
The formula, which forms the basis of ROI calculation, is:
- Automated test script development time = (Hourly automation time per test * Number of automated test cases) / 8
- Automated test script execution time = (Automated test execution time per test * Number of automated test cases*Period of ROI) / 18
- Automated test analysis time = (Test Analysis time * Period of ROI) / 8
- Automated test maintenance time = (Maintenance time * Period of ROI) / 8
- Manual Execution Time = (Manual test execution time * Number of manual test cases * Period of ROI) / 8
where period of ROI is the number of weeks for which the ROI is to be calculated. Divided by 8 is done wherever manual effort is needed. Divided by 18 is done wherever automation is done.
This form of calculation is done in order to analyze the investment gains over monetary gains. And once these values of investment costs and gains are calculated these values can be substituted into the variable space in order to arrive at the total efficiency ROI and other form factors such as Risk Reduction ROI where the benefits are calculated independently. When automated testing is adopted, resources can be freed to do more productive tasks such as time in-depth analysis of application, exclusive random and negative testing, test design/development etc.
Since there are several factors that affect the ROI calculation on test automation, it is advisable to introduce improvements to the overall automation testing by introducing efficient testing automation tools, investing more time in the initial phase itself, using better reporting mechanisms, etc.
Also, there is no single accurate mechanism to calculate ROI for automation testing. It is up to the tester’s/management’s discretion to use the method that suits their needs and situation the best.