Automated Regression Testing Strategy for Agile Environments

Automated Regression Testing Strategy for Agile Environments

Explore the future of automated regression testing in agile environments Gartner Insights for 2024, with gen AI and the role of QA.

Automated regression testing has become an indispensable part of an agile environment. As software engineering organizations strive for speed and efficiency, understanding the integration of automated testing and the trends shaping its future is crucial.

Drawing on the latest Gartner insights for 2024, this blog post explores the current state of automated software testing and offers a strategic outlook for the coming years.

The agile methodology's agility has made it an industry-standard in the current software development landscape. However, with constant updates and improvements, the risk of introducing bugs into the system increases.

The solution? An effective automated regression testing strategy that ensures a product's reliability, saving both time and money.

If you’re doing the regression testing, you can hire automation testers to write the test scripts for regression and save your time & money.

What is Regression Testing?

Regression testing is nothing but executing the existing test cases to make sure that the existing functionalities work fine. The rise of agile has significantly impacted the testing practices. In the traditional waterfall model Testing was thought of to be the "last step" before the release of software build.

With the increasing customer demands for agile development, the frequency of testing the application has also increased. With each release the testers need to make sure that the application as a whole is working as expected and there are no impacts of the new code that has been put in which might affect the existing working functionalities


Benefits of Regression testing

  • Reduce the time required for testing in between each iteration
  • Lowers the risk of reputational damage
  • Reduce the possibilities of damaging customers’ experience

What is Automated Regression testing?

Automated regression testing is the process of using automated testing tools to retest the existing functionality of a software application after any changes or updates have been made. This is done to ensure that the changes have not introduced any new defects or issues into the system.  The rise of agile has significantly impacted the testing practices. In the traditional waterfall model Testing was thought of to be the "last step" before the release of software build.

The State of Automated Software Testing

Automated software testing has seen widespread adoption across various domains, signaling a significant shift towards more efficient and accurate software delivery. A notable 56% of organizations currently employ API testing, followed closely by integration testing (45%) and performance testing (40%). This highlights a diverse range of automated testing practices, with regression testing accounting for 27% of usage among surveyed IT and software engineering leaders.

Why Switch To Automated Regression Testing?

Each time the software is to be released, it needs to be tested and repeated until all of the functionality is verified. Regression testing that occurs after development requires a thorough QA review to make sure the application is behaving as expected.

Given that, the testing needs to be done so often, therefore regression test case becomes a prime candidate for automation. When you want to maximize your QA teams’ potential through automation, you should opt for automated regression testing.

Because regression testing is intended to check the existing working functionality in the system, it requires constant repetition with each release cycle. A fair amount of regression testing is required to ensure that no new development causes bugs or breaks in the production environment.

Not all bugs are caused by new features or the consequences of routine bug fixes. Bugs can also occur due to database updates or new browser versions, in the case of web applications. There can also be an issue with efficiency and speed. Automating stable and repeatable cases, allows testers to spend more time on testing various environments and merging more complicated cases.

When regression testing is automated, you can

  • Save manual effort
  • Find more defects by increase test coverage
  • Reduce regression testing time
  • Frees up testers to conduct manual testing for complex modules

An Effective Strategy for Automated Regression Testing

Based on our experience, here is the effective automated regression testing strategy for large & medium scaled projects:

  • Platform Identification for Automation: The initial phase involves pinpointing which platforms (web, mobile, desktop) are essential for automation. This decision is often based on user engagement and platform usage statistics.
  • Tool Selection for Automation: Identifying the right tools is pivotal in the automation regression testing approach. Factors influencing tool selection include cost considerations, the availability of open-source options, the need for team training, the ease of maintaining test scripts, tool features, the robustness of the underlying framework, and the level of community support.
  • Determining Tests for Automation: Not all tests are suitable for automation due to constraints such as third-party integrations, image-based testing, or scenarios requiring manual input.
  • Prioritization of Tests: Prioritizing tests for automation is an art. High-priority tests should be automated first, especially those covering the application's core functionality.
  • Timing for Starting Automation: Automation should begin when the module or feature under test has reached a stable state, with no significant changes expected shortly.
  • Establishing the Test Automation Framework: A robust framework is the backbone of any successful automated testing endeavor. It ensures consistency and maintainability across the code written by different team members.
  • Script Development: Writing effective automation scripts is a specialized task that requires detailed knowledge of the application under test and the selected automation tools.
  • Continuous Integration and Testing: Automated tests should be integrated into the continuous integration (CI) pipeline to facilitate regular execution and immediate feedback.
  • Ongoing Maintenance of Test Suites: As new updates are introduced, it's essential to keep the regression test suite current by adding new test cases and updating existing scripts.

Key Insights for Implementing Automation Testing:

Automated regression testing in agile environments is not just a trend; it's a necessity for organizations aiming to stay competitive and deliver high-quality software efficiently. The insights from Gartner's 2024 survey highlight the critical role of automated testing, especially regression testing, in modern software development practices.

Embracing Continuous Testing Throughout Development

  • 40% of businesses automate software testing continuously during their development cycle.

Implementing automated regression testing as part of this continuous process ensures that any changes in the software do not introduce new bugs or break existing functionalities. This approach not only accelerates the development cycle but also enhances product quality by identifying and addressing issues early.

Growing Investment in Generative AI for Enhanced Testing

  • Generative AI stands out as a transformative force, with 69% of respondents predicting its significant impact on automated testing.

For regression testing, generative AI can automate the creation and maintenance of test cases, predict common issues, and analyze test results. By integrating generative AI technologies, organizations can ensure their testing strategies are more efficient, accurate, and capable of adapting to changing requirements and environments.


Address Automation Skill Gaps and Implementation Challenges

  • Gartner's survey reveals that implementing automated testing includes automation skill gaps (34%) and struggles with implementation (36%).

To overcome these hurdles, businesses must develop internal expertise and select the right tools that align with their specific needs and existing infrastructure. This might involve targeted training programs, hiring skilled personnel, or partnering with technology providers that offer robust support and integration capabilities.

Adapt to the Changing Role of QA

As automated testing becomes more prevalent, the role of QA professionals is evolving. With a predicted reduction in QA headcount (40%) and a fundamental change in daily responsibilities (40%), it's crucial for QA teams to adapt by acquiring new skills, such as programming and test automation, and by focusing on more strategic tasks such as test planning, analysis, and optimization.

Prioritize Test Coverage and Quality

Despite the automation, ensuring comprehensive test coverage remains a challenge. Organizations should leverage automated regression testing to cover as much of the application as possible, focusing on critical paths and high-risk areas. This approach, coupled with continuous feedback loops, helps improve the overall quality of the product and reduces the risk of defects slipping through to production.

Demonstrate ROI and Secure Buy-in

  • With high upfront costs (34%) being a barrier to implementing automated testing strategies, it's essential to clearly demonstrate the return on investment to stakeholders.

This includes showcasing benefits such as increased test accuracy, wider test coverage, and the ability to release products faster and with fewer defects. Securing executive buy-in is crucial for obtaining the necessary resources and support for a successful implementation.

Automated regression testing becomes essential for large & medium scaled projects (six-months long or more) on the stage when the project is stable (no critical changes in business logic and UI are expected). You should begin the regression test suite right from the sprint 0 and update it with each sprint.

Adoption and Impact of Automated Regression Testing

Automated testing is not just about finding bugs; it's a strategic tool for improving product quality and deployment speed.

  • A significant 60% of respondents automate testing to enhance product quality, while 58% aim to increase deployment speed.

This dual focus underscores the role of automated testing in achieving higher test accuracy and broader test coverage, which are critical for maintaining the agility and efficiency demanded in agile environments.

Challenges and Solutions

Despite the clear benefits, organizations face hurdles in implementing automated testing, including regression testing. Implementation challenges, automation skill gaps, and high upfront costs are the primary obstacles.  Addressing these challenges requires a strategic approach that includes investing in skill development, selecting the right tools, and demonstrating the return on investment to secure executive buy-in.

A Strategic Outlook for Automated Regression Testing

As we look to the future, several trends stand to impact automated regression testing in agile environments:

Integration with Generative AI

Generative AI is poised to revolutionize automated testing by predicting common issues, analyzing test results, and suggesting error solutions. This could significantly enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of regression testing, enabling teams to keep tests up-to-date and create more comprehensive test cases.

Shifts in QA Roles and Responsibilities

The integration of advanced automated testing tools, including those for regression testing, is expected to lead to a reduction in QA headcount and a fundamental change in daily responsibilities. This transition underscores the need for QA professionals to adapt by developing new skills and embracing a more strategic role in the software development lifecycle.


Automating regression testing where your code is steady & uncomplicated will assure your product is running smooth while saving your developers and testers time. The above-mentioned approach, specific to reduce regression problems can go a long way towards a high brand value and good client relationship.

Remember, regression tests automation is a complex process, which needs an expertise in test automation. You’re welcome to leverage our 19+ years of experience in software development and testing & leave your worry of test automation and web testing to Clarion!

Check our Automation Testing Process for more information.



Krunal Patel, a seasoned QA Testing Tech Lead, Agile Testing QA Manager, and Practice Lead, brings over 15 years of dynamic expertise in Information Technology. With a proven track record in multiple domains such as Insurance, Investment Banking, Health Care, Treasury, Auto Insurance, and Manufacturing, Krunal consistently delivers top-notch quality output, establishing himself as a highly accomplished IT professional in the field of Software Testing and Quality Assurance.

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