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The evolving test automation landscape

(2021-03-30)

Inspired by Rob Akershoek and his image of The Evolving Digital Delivery Model I made a similar general chart to describe test automation progress as organizations evolve.


The chart below tries to depict how many organizations evolve with their test automation efforts. It's not meant to be a guideline or roadmap, but something to guide discussions about test automation.
Insights for this chart are derived from numerous test automation assignments, many of which has been on strategic level. The same experiences have proven that there are a lot of different circumstances that would make this chart partially debatable. For example, if the system under test is a SaaS system and you still find it crucial enough for your business to implement test automation for it you would still likely find it problematic to version control your test automation code with the code for the system under test.
Another example could be if the goal of the test is to make sure business processes can be performed end-to-end through several systems, it could make sense using some method for identifying data rather than testing with constructed data.

For the most part this chart still makes sense. It's not something new or visionary, but hopefully a relevant documentation about how test automation usually progresses in an organization as it matures around the subject. The background of-course being the factors high-lighted by Rob Akershoek.

Test Automation Landscape
The evolving test automation landscape (Common Criteria)

Recommended further reading

Test automation is a complex issue. Naturally there are a lot of relevant context dependent issues left out. For a more thorough walk-through of test automation concerns, please view: