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Prioritizing Automated Functional Test Scenarios

How Can You Prioritize Automated Functional Test Scenarios?

June 15, 2022
Rohan SinghRohan Singh
Rohan Singh

Prioritizing automation of test cases takes effort, especially if it involves making processes faster and simultaneously incorporating client requirements. For example, the client may ask you to begin testing with an existing prototype, but your developers may want to work on a new one or test a feature under development to find bugs early.

Something that can help you prioritize functional testing is understanding which application features are essential so you can test them first. Essential features include:

Another thing you must remember is that you cannot automate every feature and that automation is a compliment to manual testing. So, take stock of which features you can automate and which ones you can save for manual tests.

Check out: A comprehensive guide on automated testing

Why Automation?

1. It is cost-effective

It is a misconception that integrating automation is expensive. While initially, automation may be expensive, the returns you get make it worth the investment in the long run.

2. It is efficient and productive

Automated systems do not tire due to tedium. They can run hundreds of iterations and still produce the same accurate results.

3. They have a smaller margin for error

Automated testing is accurate, so much that you can program AI test bots to run tests with an infinitesimally low margin for error.

4. They can deliver accurate results quickly

Automated testing is known for its speed of delivery. These tests quickly deliver accurate results and feedback, enabling QA professionals to suggest faster changes.

5. They reduce the development time

Through automation, developers can run tests repeatedly, and the system does not experience any fatigue. You receive results quicker, make changes faster, and improve TTM (time to market).

6. It improves app quality

Through automated testing, you get more coverage than with manual testing. Hence the resulting app is of high quality.

Also Check: What Are the Benefits of Using Automated Functional Testing?

When To Automate a Test Case?

You can automate a test case when:

  • When the test is repetitive
  • When the test or requirements are stable, unlikely to change, and low risk.
  • It can save time.
  • The test is time-consuming.
  • The test has significant downtime.
  • When human error can affect the test's result.

You can use these qualifications to set the standards for testing across your organization, improving your release time and helping you get a strong ROI.

Read: Dialing in faster app performance

Selecting Test Cases for Automation - How to Prioritize


First, take stock of your applications and break them down into modules. Divide each module into different test cases and identify which ones you can automate based on the above qualifications. 

Second, define parameters for each test case. Here are a few you can use:

  • Test cases for multiple browsers
  • Test cases for various environments
  • Test cases for multiple users
  • Test cases with different sets of data
  • Test cases with large amounts of data

You can make your parameters specific to your app for the best results.

Test cases table

Fill in the data

Based on the information you have about your app, fill in the data and consolidate the results from each module. You can view the module with the most test cases under each parameter as priority number one. 

Personas for automation

Another way to help you prioritize functional testing automation is through the use of personas. Personas help bring attention to valuable tests and guide test functionality and design decisions. 

It also helps focus on your target users and prioritize features, improving your overall test coverage and allowing you to focus on your end-users.

Also read: A Detailed Guide to Code Coverage and Test Coverage

Insights from marketing

Marketing data can also help you prioritize your test cases. Marketing data centers around the user and how they interact with your app and learning about this is key to improving your apps.

What To Keep in Mind Before Starting Automating

Here's what you need to keep in mind to ensure you get a good ROI from your automation

Test maintenance

When you write a test case, you commit to maintaining its script as long as the test case exists; this does not come free of cost. So, before you decide to write a particular test case, ask yourself if you need the script. 

See: Writing Automated Test Scripts Using Selenium


Getting into automation is exciting; however, it is essential to consider what is involved in getting tools associated with automation. Will you purchase one or go open source? What about maintenance costs and support when you have an OS upgrade? Considering these things is vital before starting your automation journey.

The HeadSpin Platform brings together DevOps & AI testing to give you a comprehensive testing platform. It seamlessly integrates into your CI/CD workflows, raises issues, and points out their underlying root cause. Reach out!

Organizational constraints

We must also consider the constraints put upon us by the organization. They can have restrictions on

  • the time of delivery
  • the budget of the project, or
  • the skills of those working on the project.

Taking into account all the organization's requirements, make an informed decision on if automation can work for you.

Functional Testing Tools


Automation first came into play through Selenium - an open-source browser automation and software testing tool. Developers use Selenium to run functional and parallel tests, perform cross-browser testing, and write tests in various languages. Selenium set the sage for automation, and it helped to:

  1. Ensure automated functional testing because consistent and accurate.
  2. Execute multiple tests.
Read: Selenium Testing - Everything You Need to Know


Appium is a set of open-source tools and APIs that allows developers to automate iOS, Android, and many other platforms. Its developers based Appium on the WebDriver protocol. 

Since it is W3C ratified, browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and more can receive automation commands. It works great for functional testing. While developers use the WebDriver protocol to automate web browsers, they can also use Appium to automate apps; this is the significant difference between Appium and Selenium. 

Appium comes with popular drivers. For Android, the UiAutomator2 and iOS, the XCUITest, and other drivers.

Improving the Appium Testing Experience with HeadSpin. Learn more!


Automating several test cases will require massive upkeep, requiring you to bring in the money you may not have. Instead, focus on a risk-based approach where you're automating only valuable tests. 

Many developers prefer automating regression tests as they contain several test cases. At such times, it may benefit you to break down these test cases into more minor suits and run automation on the suite most appropriate to the release requirement. 

This phase-wise approach to automation can help you integrate a more stable automation framework.


Q1. At what stage should you do functional testing?

A1. You can perform functional testing at every level of the testing process. Developers prefer running functional tests at the unit test levels, while the QA team prefers to perform these tests in the later stages. They can help the developers refine their products further.

Q2. How performs functional testing?

A2. Typically, functional testing is performed by developers. They write test scripts to ensure and validate that the application's functions work as per the clients' requirements. 

Q3. How is nonfunctional testing different from functional testing?

A3. Nonfunctional testing is different from functional testing in what it tests. Developers run functional tests to ensure that the features and functions of the app work well. However, nonfunctional testing involves examining other aspects of the application to validate its performance.

How Can You Prioritize Automated Functional Test Scenarios?

4 Parts


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