It can be challenging to make a game plan for the future without knowing where you've been, and a great way to track your progress is Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). They're also a great way to show your higher-ups solid metrics if they wonder whether test automation is worth it (spoiler alert, it is). But that's not their only goal; KPIs can also help you make key business decisions. But if you're wondering what KPIs you can measure for test automation and how they help your company, then this is the article for you!
A quick overview on KPIs in case you're unfamiliar with them: KPIs are a way to measure performance and evaluate general success, usually with analytics and numbers, but not always. For automated testing specifically, KPIs can help track progress on what is being tested and see if there are any goals that you haven't met. Other benefits of KPIs include demonstrating exactly how much you test each sprint/month/quarter/whatever-time-period-you-like and how many of those tests are passing and failing (performance metrics). Maybe those KPIs reveal a spot in your Application Under Test (AUT) where tests are more likely to fail, and DevOps need to take a closer look. These are just some general examples, but you should tailor what KPIs you track to fit your needs.
KPIs aren't a "one size fits all" deal. Each organization is different, and only your testing and development teams can really know what you need to measure. Now, you probably shouldn't track everything. You should carefully choose what kind of metrics you want to track throughout your automation testing process to stay as efficient as possible.
A good place to start is the business goals. Now if you work for an insurance company, there probably isn't anything in the company objectives about test automation, but you need to know your tests' pass rate if you have a client portal or forms to fill out on your website. If you have a concerning fail rate in a certain area, it could be indicative of a larger problem.
KPIs should also serve a purpose beyond looking good — they should be actionable, so if there's an area of testing that isn't up to scratch, improving them will help your organization achieve milestones. Quality KPIs are key. Instead of overwhelming your spreadsheet with all the metrics for automation testing you can think of, focus on targeted KPIs that will help you make decisions. Ok, time to focus on some specific test automation metrics.
As I may have mentioned, we love a good KPI here at Virtuoso, and another good one is that Virtuoso makes your test execution time an average of 10x faster through robust tests and parallel testing. Plus with our reporting features, we generate a lot of common KPIs for you! You can check them out for yourself by writing some tests for free (and enjoying a faster test authoring experience) or talking directly to our team about making your testing more efficient. Happy metric tracking!