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Just Enough Software Test Automation by Bruce A. Posey, Daniel J. Mosley

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When to Automate System Tests

There are several additional elements to consider in determining when to automate. The following is based on practical experience developed through having worked on multiple projects at several companies since 1996.

Time to Automate Is Always the Number One Factor

It will cost you more time up front in the project to set up an automated testing project than it will to set up a manual test project. Automation offers no shortcuts in the beginning. You must still perform all of the same steps that you would perform for a manual testing project. Automation begins after all the test cases are defined against the finished (this is being optimistic) requirements and after a build of the AUT is delivered.

In addition, the ...

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