Jim Hazen is an Automation Consultant and “veteran of the software testing trenches” who helps companies with test automation and performance test implementations. He has presented at multiple professional conferences, including STARWest and STPCon, and published articles in ST&QA Magazine on test automation and communication techniques for testers. You can learn more about Jim on LinkedIn.
For very simple software, the bug reports might be tracked with sticky notes or spreadsheets. But when the software is more complex, these become unwieldy, and companies need to turn to software designed for the task. Typically, professional bug trackers report on bug severity, priority, when the defect was discovered, exact reproduction steps, who fixed it, what build it was fixed in, as well as searching and tagging mechanisms to simplify finding a defect. These tools don't just assist programmers and project managers; customer service and existing users can use these tools to find out if an issue is known, if it is scheduled for fixing, escalating known issues and entering unknown ones. Bug tracking tools can also help with the workflow, because bugs can be assigned to programmers, then to testers to recheck, then marked to be deployed, and then, after the release, marked as deployed.

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While automated testing has been considered essential for organizations, both large and small, to implement in order to deliver outstanding software and stay competitive in the industry, it can be tough to get started. Outlining an effective roadmap, building robust frameworks, choosing the right tools, and measuring the potential monetary impact that automation could have on your delivery lifecycle are all critical components of any successful automated testing strategy, but each step presents its own challenges and costs.
BPA is often confused with other terms such as industrial automation, robotic process automation, smart factories, infrastructure management, and enterprise risk management. Industrial automation (IA) uses control systems such as computers to automatically run industrial processes. Primarily found in manufacturing, it replaces the human element and improves the production rate through consistently managed processes. Whereas BPA automates processes and workflows, IA strictly automates the physical human labor in processes and workflows.

With today's constantly evolving business environments, business process automation is essential to your organization's ability to remain competitive. However, to successfully implement BPA, you need the right tools and processes to manage and stay ahead of the change. One such tool is Smartsheet, the world’s leading SaaS platform for managing and automating collaborative work. Smartsheet is designed to increase work agility and collaboration by providing a powerful platform for organizations to plan, track, automate, and report on work.


While unstructured data is more subjective and usually quite text heavy, it is extremely important, as most information used to make business decisions is unstructured. This data can come from many sources (for example, social media) and is difficult to put into a structured format of columns and rows for easy extraction and analysis. BPA platforms aim to seamlessly integrate these three elements.
This helps to make output more predictable, reduce mistakes, and make your team happier (whoever used to have to trawl through the most spreadsheets will suddenly feel a lot better about their job!). Since a machine can run constantly without rest, you could have it process large sets of data on autopilot, 24/7. That’s something you’re not going to get out of even the most dedicated employee.
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