Automation Déjà Vu—Again!


Devising a Good Answer for an Acceptable Percentage of Tests that Are Automated
The question has been posed for years, "What percentage of manual tests should be automated?" Most people that have been involved in test automation for a number of years can provide some guidance for estimating an acceptable percentage, but the reason this is so difficult to answer is because every project builds manual tests at a different level of detail and also deals with applications of varying complexity. Therefore, 75 percent automation may be feasible for one organization, while only 15 percent is feasible for another. We could, as an industry, evaluate these different conditions, and devise a standardized approach for calculating an acceptable percentage.

The lack of growth in test automation largely is due to the fact that test automation has not been treated as a separate discipline from manual software testing. There hasn't been a separate body of knowledge or a comprehensive resource that focuses on automation processes and procedures, as opposed to just automation tools. We must correct this, so that we can move the discipline of test automation forward and stop the automation déjà vu that we've been stuck in.

For more information, visit Automated Testing Institute.


About the author

Dion Johnson's picture Dion Johnson

As a senior test consultant and managing partner for DiJohn IC, Inc. and advisor to the Automated Testing Institute, Dion Johnson provides IT consulting services that focus on the overall system development lifecycle, with particular focus on the quality assurance, quality control, requirements analysis, and automated testing. He has presented at numerous SQE conferences and contributed to and Better Software magazine. In addition he is an editor for the Automated Software Testing magazine. Email Dion at or

AgileConnection is one of the growing communities of the TechWell network.

Featuring fresh, insightful stories, is the place to go for what is happening in software development and delivery.  Join the conversation now!