Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a technology that enables software robots (also known as “bots”) to automate repetitive and manual tasks within business processes. RPA bots can perform tasks such as data submission, data extraction, and report generation, among others.
RPA testing is verifying and validating the software robots or bots used in Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to ensure that they are functioning as intended and meeting the required specifications. The testing process involves checking the functionality, performance, security, and usability of the bots.
Below are the best practices, that will help us that our RPA solution is tested completely and precisely and working as expected in production.
- Test early and often: Start testing as early as possible in the RPA development process, and perform testing at each stage of development to catch issues before they become more complex and costly to fix.
- Develop clear and concise test cases: Create test cases that are easy to understand and follow, with clear steps, expected results, and any preconditions or dependencies.
- Focus on edge cases and negative scenarios: Test scenarios that are unlikely or unusual, as these often reveal defects that may not be caught by more typical test cases.
- Incorporate non-functional testing: In addition to functional testing, also perform non-functional testing to ensure that the RPA solution performs well under load, with good response times, and with appropriate security and data privacy measures.
- Use automation tools where appropriate: RPA testing can be automated using tools like UiPath Test Suite, Automation Anywhere Test Suite, and Blue Prism Test Suite. Leverage automation tools to help streamline testing processes, improve efficiency, and reduce human error.
- Verify data accuracy: Ensure that the RPA solution processes data correctly and consistently, including validating data sources, verifying data integrity, and checking for data duplication or loss.
- Test end-to-end processes: Emulate end-to-end scenarios to ensure that the bot performs all the steps as expected, and there are no errors. Also, ensure that the RPA solution performs as expected across all relevant systems and applications.
- Collaborate across teams: Work closely with developers, business analysts, and other stakeholders to ensure that testing is aligned with the overall RPA strategy and business objectives.
- Track and manage defects: Use a defect tracking system to log and manage issues found during testing, and prioritize defects based on severity and impact.
Although RPA Testing has several benefits, it also has some pitfalls, including:
- Limited scope of testing: RPA testing is limited to the specific tasks and processes that are automated. This means that any errors or issues that occur outside of the automated tasks may not be detected through RPA testing.
- Dependence on the accuracy of the test data: RPA bots are programmed to follow a specific set of instructions, and any deviation from the expected input can lead to errors. The accuracy of the test data used in RPA testing is critical, as any errors or inconsistencies in the test data & poor test data management can lead to incorrect results, incorrect decisions and false positives.
- Inability to test cognitive processes: RPA tools are designed to automate monotonous tasks, which means that they cannot handle cognitive processes. Therefore, RPA testing cannot test processes that require human decision-making or critical thinking.
- Lack of flexibility: RPA testing is designed to test specific processes and tasks. Any changes to the processes or tasks require the RPA test cases to be updated, which can be time-consuming and costly.
- Limited scope of testing environments: RPA testing is typically limited to specific testing environments, which means that any issues or errors that occur outside of these environments may not be detected.
- Dependence on the RPA tool: RPA testing is heavily dependent on the RPA. It requires domain knowledge to understand the business requirements and the process flow. Lack of domain knowledge may result in incomplete testing.
- Integration failure: RPA bots rely on multiple integrations with different systems and applications to perform automated tasks. Any integration failure can cause the bot to malfunction.
- User interface changes: RPA bots interact with applications through the user interface, and any changes to the UI can cause the bot to fail. This can happen when an application updates its user interface or when a bot interacts with different versions of the same application.
- Network connectivity issues: RPA bots rely on network connectivity to communicate with different systems and applications. Any network connectivity issues, such as a slow connection or a server outage, can cause the bot to fail.
- Maintenance issues: RPA bots require regular maintenance to ensure they remain functional. Failure to maintain the bot can result in issues such as outdated libraries, broken dependencies, and other maintenance-related issues.
- Security issues: RPA bots can pose security risks if they are not properly secured. Any security vulnerabilities can be exploited by attackers, leading to potential data breaches, system compromises, or other security incidents.
- Uncertainly defined business continuity plans (BCP): Developing a business continuity plan for RPA (Robotic Process Automation) can help ensure that an organization can continue to operate even if there are disruptions or failures in the RPA solution. Here are some potential pitfalls of RPA BCP plans to consider:
- Incomplete risk assessment
- Inadequate testing on BCP
- Over-reliance on RPA
- Lack of integration with other BCP-plans
- Failure to keep the plan up to date.
There was a survey conducted to gather the feedback of RPA users to understand the customer needs and preferences, the existing barricades RPA users face. Measure the customer satisfaction. Asses the market demand & find the benchmark against competitors.
The results found that there is prodigious growth in the RPA industry: 67% of participants invested in RPA technology within the past year and 81% of participants are planning to invest in the upcoming period in RPA.
Though RPA technology growth is compelling, a recognizable discontent with current RPA technology is encountered by the survey. With this current generation of RPA, every week at least 69% of participants undergo broken bots.
The survey results spotlight that the RPA solutions are increasing popularity and particularly to expediting company growth and success. Also, the survey shows that RPA lacking in expected behaviour. In conclusion, RPA testing is crucial to the success of any RPA implementation project. By conducting thorough testing, businesses can ensure that their bots can function efficiently and effectively, leading to improved productivity, cost savings, and a competitive edge in the market. It’s time to progress future RPA to be powerful, more definitive, and fairly priced technology that meets consumer standards.
Author: Rajeswari D | SENIOR TEST ENGINEER| DIGITAL ASSURANCE_DIV
Company Name: Indium Software
Category: Digital Assurance