4 Test Automation Metrics: Are Your Tests Successful?

by René Ceelen, on August 23, 2022

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“You can’t improve what you don’t measure.” As with any aspect of your operations, this business adage should apply to your team’s software testing.

In other words, software development teams looking to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their automated testing should not only measure how and what they are testing, but also use the right test automation metrics.

So whether your team already has metrics in place to measure the performance of software testing or is just starting to establish them, this article will cover the key elements of implementing a metrics program and highlight the key indicators you should consider.

Key Elements of Establishing Your Test Automation Metrics Program

Businesses across all industries use a range of key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor the performance of everything from their sales to their customer service. And for good reason! Having specific, measurable KPIs gives your team the insights they need to refine their approach and implement the right tools to boost output.

These same principles should apply to your test automation metrics program, which allows your team to fully leverage the benefits of automated testing: speed, reliability, and ease of use.

The test automation metrics you choose to measure your program need to account for the unique aspects of your organization and business. However, testing metrics generally fall into three categories:

Process Metrics

A testing program’s components, characteristics, and execution are defined by process metrics. These metrics measure how well each phase of your automation testing process is proceeding, ultimately contributing to the overall execution of your software development lifecycle (SDLC).

Product Metrics

A product’s design, performance, quality, reliability, security, and complexity are defined by product metrics. By measuring the type, frequency, and quantity of defects measured by your automated testing and the coverage of your automated test scripts, you can improve the quality of your software development and testing program.

Project Metrics

Although there are project-level KPIs, there are also metrics specific to testing that can assess a project’s overall quality based on the success of test runs. These metrics can determine how a project’s resources are utilized and refine cost and schedule estimates based on test results.

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The 4 Test Automation Metric Types Your Team Should Track

Although every testing team will have a unique way of monitoring the performance of their software testing, the following four types of test automation metrics should form the core of your KPIs:

1. Base Metrics

These metrics—in combination with the other metric types—help your test managers track the execution of the overall testing program, how well testing is progressing against the estimated schedule, and if the testing will provide proper coverage across the key testing categories.

Example metrics include:

  • Number of test cases developed
  • Number of test cases completed
  • Time to complete testing
  • Number of test cases by function or feature type (i.e., defect distribution)

2. Test Pass Rate

These metrics help your team understand the quality of your product across the testing areas and the stability of your test automation suite. A low pass rate requires more time spent validating failures and should lead to an investigation into the testing program or development methodology.

The following could be a sample metric:

  • Pass Rate % = (# of cases that passed / # of test cases executed) x 100

3. Defect Resolution

Running test scripts and identifying defects is only part of measuring the effectiveness of your testing program. The other is how your team handles the results.

The following metric can help your test manager understand the progress toward resolving defects and how the project's overall schedule could be affected.

Here’s one method to track this progress:

  • On the Y-Axis, plot the number of open defects identified during each period on one line joined by the number of closed defects on another line (X-Axis)

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4. Automated Test Coverage

For teams looking to increase the use of automated testing in their quality assurance program, the “automated test coverage” metric compares the percentage of automated tests versus the total tests run.

This metric is calculated by dividing the number of automated tests by the total number of tests conducted.

The Test Automation Metric Visibility You Need

No matter the maturity of your software testing program or the depth of your testing metrics program, utilizing a test management tool like TestMonitor makes it easier to measure and report on the performance of your testing program and its individual testing sessions.

TestMonitor is designed by software testers, for software testers. TestMonitor makes it easy to gather and record manual and automated testing results, generate a range of reports to facilitate project performance discussions, and much more.

Want to learn more about how your quality assurance program can utilize automated testing and the tools that can elevate your overall software testing? Then take a moment to watch our recent webinar, “Automated Testing with TestMonitor.”

Watch our free automated testing webinar

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