Why Test Automation Fails – Top 10 Reasons 

By: Jav Zeb Iqbal.
Last Updated: January 25, 2021.

The IT sector strives to make various processes easier and faster. Simultaneously, they also want to keep the software quality intact. That’s when they turn to modern-day magic perceived to solve every QA problem. That’s right, I am talking about test automation.

It’s understandable that the agile scenario thrives on speed. Reduced time to market is one of the most sought after requirements. This is the main reason why most teams are always after automating their tests. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a really good thing! But the problem is too many failed attempts.

The bad news is that if test automation fails, it can create additional hassles and further slow down the release. But on the upside, if you know why it fails, avoiding the pitfalls won’t be an ordeal by fire. On that note, let us take a look at the top 10 reasons why test automation fails and how you can avoid those failures.

Improper Collaboration

If you want a quick deployment of applications in the market, smooth collaboration is one of the key components. That requires many teams simultaneously working on the web application. For instance, there are different people responsible for middleware activities, back end, front end design, and so on.

For automation testing, testers have to understand the different models and teams that are responsible for them. Also, it’s important for testers to stay updated with enhancements in products.

This way, they can make important changes to the automation script and
improve the chances of a test automation success.

Lack of Proper Management

If teams lack management and visibility, automation can turn out to be hopeless. First things first, all team members should have the basic skills and knowledge for performing automation testing. After all, test automation is far from being a one-man show!

With regular discussion sessions and team meetings on test automation processes and best practices, companies can ensure proper management. This leads to testers having a better idea of where the development team is headed. It also instills a greater understanding of development trends does, helping testers effectively carrying out automation testing.

Expecting Hundred Percent Automation

100% perfection is impractical in almost every situation. The same goes for test automation. As convenient as full automation sounds, it’s next to impossible. There are plenty of areas requiring keen human inspection.

For example, you can’t test web application accessibility without any human intervention whatsoever. It’s high time management stop expecting complete automation from their QA teams.

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Having No Idea of What To Automate and What Not To

One of the biggest reasons for test automation failure is that people have no idea what to automate and what not to. For instance, when you are testing a web page, it’s important to determine which elements are tested best with automation.

The best way to take a pick is to leave stable elements to be automated. Those that are not prone to quick and frequent changes do best with test automation. For example, you can test a login form with automation as it needs only a username and password.

On the other hand, for verifying the location of an element, it’s better to rely on manual testing. Consider a scenario in which a tester uses coordinates for verifying its location. When a page runs on different viewports, resolutions, and devices, tests can turn out to be flaky.

Another example is that it requires human eyes to recognize the display of a screen on various screen sizes, browsers, and devices. All in all, testers should focus on automating repetitive and mundane tasks. This way, they can devote more time for exploratory testing.

Not Paying Any Heed to Manual Testing

With Agile frameworks becoming mainstream, it’s important to become a little lost in the world of automation. But that shouldn’t become the reason to completely ignore manual testing. One of the biggest misconceptions is that once you have started automating, manual testing is null and void.

Consider automation testing a technology that allows testers to divert their manual focus on tasks requiring human intervention. The best way is to create a strategy that clearly defines the elements to be automated and tested manually.

Humans possess cognitive ability which comes in handy during UI testing. All
in all, striking a balance between manual and automation testing can avoid
failures to a great extent.

Lack of The Right Tools and Skills

The biggest lie some people in the IT sector tell themselves is that anyone can automate. Of course, that’s far from the truth. Without a certain level of technical expertise, conducting effective automation testing is almost impossible.

Ideally, the solution is to hire those who know the use of relevant tools and have knowledge about writing the correct test scripts. But it’s easier said than done! Hiring such qualified staff can be time-consuming and can raise budget concerns.

This is where automation testing tools come into the picture. But there are so many of them out there that making a choice becomes extremely overwhelming. Last, most come with a very steep learning curve.

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Speaking of which, LambdaTest is one of the leading cross-browser testing tools which offers optimum solutions for most automation requirements in a single place. All it needs is some getting used to and you can make testing a breeze.

Lack of Visibility

Low visibility is a major reason that contributes to the failure of automation tests. While a few individuals strive to carry out automation testing, the remaining workforce has no idea about what’s going on. Sometimes, people who can turn out to be relevant for automation testing success are left unaware of its processes. This way, testers fail to collaborate with them.

This can pose major issues if the volume of the code increases from the developer’s end. One way to ensure greater visibility is to let the whole team see the results of automation.

The company should also make sure that the information configuration of the automation framework is readily available. The workforce should also have a basic idea of the features tested with the help of automation.

Disregarding False Positives and Negatives

In most companies, the management has a really bad habit of relaxing their hearts out once the test suits are all set up and are working well. In this case, slacking and relying merely on pass-fail testing leads to test automation failure.

Many times, systems tend to fundamentally work fine. But automation scripts tend not to reflect that. This can lead to a false positive. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen testing teams waste precious time looking for something that doesn’t exist.

Of course, I don’t need to state how disastrous things can get if something is wrong and scripts give the green signal! All in all, a false negative, as in this case and false positives as discussed in the previous situation wastes time and effort besides causing test automation failures.

Thus, the management should never bring laxity even after the test suits are up and running.  

Jumping to the Next Test Without Looking Back At The Previously Automated Test

One of the biggest mistakes is to begin automating new stuff as soon as a test suit works without looking back. While there’s no harm in moving on and exploring new areas to automate, always look back at the existing code to check for discrepancies.

Experimenting with test suites can help. Never underestimate the power of optimizing existing pieces of code!

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Error-Filled Test Code

Sometimes, even the pros make mistakes. Similarly, the best codes can have the simplest errors. If you have checked your entire script and automation is still failing, consider examining your test code.

You might find runtime and compile-time errors where you least expect them! Sometimes, reflecting back to the starting point is all you need to avoid a major test automation failure.

Final words

The general expectation dictates that test automation is here to make things easier and quicker. To a great extent, that’s true! But you can only avail the maximum benefits of automation if you use it correctly. Now that we have pointed out the primary failure scenarios, you’re almost halfway on the path of avoiding catastrophic outcomes.

Many organizations fall victim to procrastination and hasty implementation of automated testing. Remember, it doesn’t matter how high your budget is. Businesses should never lose money just because no one cared to take a second glance at the roadblocks! On the other hand, don’t let fear overpower you, or else you won’t be able to reap all the advantages.

It won’t be an overstatement to say that test automation has a lot to offer. But as your organization makes progress, you are bound to come across unexpected obstacles. The key here is to be prepared for complications and pay attention to the bottlenecks it brings along.

All in all, never ever rush while implementing test automation and keep the above reasons for failure in mind. This way, you can increase the likelihood of making test automation work towards your progress.


Author’s Bio

Jav Zeb is a young and spirited British author with expertise in tutorial writing and product reviewing. She has completed AAT from the London School of Business and Finance, Birmingham. Interests: Drawing, Painting, Blog Writing, Interior Decor, and Reading. Living in: Erdington, Birmingham, West Midlands, UK. You may reach her at [email protected].



Last Updated By on January 25th, 2021 in Reviews

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