How to Select a Proof of Concept Candidate

In our last article, we discussed some of the initial steps organizations should take to kickstart their automated regression testing. One of these steps is identifying a Proof of  Concept (POC) candidate to collect supporting data and demonstrate how automated testing could impact your client. Companies need to be able to assess the risk versus the reward for switching from manual to automation, and it’s your job to help them make an informed decision.

The goal with your POC candidate is to be able to successfully present a case to support your recommendation for automation, so keep that in mind when selecting your candidate. Here are a few suggestions to steer you in the right direction to select the perfect Proof of Concept candidate for your presentation.

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Size Matters

When selecting a POC candidate, consider the size, complexity, and frequency of the test you aim to automate. You are looking for a regression test that is fairly large, moderately complex, and time-consuming to execute manually.  Look for a visible test that represents a sizable portion of business transactions and represents a long-term project. Regression tests that are lengthier are the best for showcasing the drastic difference switching to automated testing can make.  

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Complex But Conquerable

At the same time, you want a sturdy, stable case that’s complicated without being too difficult to demonstrate. Choose a case that tests a well-known and highly used business process/transaction.  The procedures must be intricate enough to display a difference between manual and automated without becoming so entangled that the results get lost.  If it sounds like a balancing act, it is. Finding a happy medium is key to choosing the right POC candidate, as you’ll want to make sure to highlight all of the capabilities of the tools you have selected along with the features the decision maker will want to see. You want to clearly prove that a case that’s complicated to test manually is much simpler and more streamlined with automation with a side-by-side comparison.


Test the Limits

We recommend also including a test case in your Proof of Concept trial presentation that fails. Part of proving that automated testing will benefit your organization is demonstrating how automated regression testing can quickly and automatically identify defects. Detecting a failure or a flaw in a test case is, in fact, a success, because it proves the process works. Part of the process is allowing the selected tools to flex their muscles a bit (e.g., show how the auto test tool can automatically populate your defect tracking system).

Want to learn more about how to select and implement a Proof of Concept for your proposed automated testing project? Contact an expert at Stonemill Consulting today.