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Pattern Summary
Arrange for the test automation team to be available full time.

Category
Process

Context
This pattern is appropriate for larger organisations, or for those who are establishing a solid starting point for long lasting, maintainable test automation. It is a good idea to have a pilot automation project staffed by a few people full-time for a few months.
Once your automation is well-established, you may not need automators full-time, so this pattern may be a temporary one for you.
This pattern is not appropriate for small organisations, or where one person must be both tester and automator, or when there are severe resource restrictions.

Description
Test automation is quite a complex task, so it is very helpful if team members are dedicated to the task and are able to concentrate full time on test automation. The full-time team may be formed for a relatively short time, e.g. 3 to 6 months, or it could be for a longer time (several years). In larger organisations, there may be a permanent full-time team dedicated to test automation.

Implementation
With MANAGEMENT SUPPORT you should be able to free your team members from other tasks.
Working full time on the test automation team will also be a boost to motivation, because by concentrating on one job, people can work better and so get more satisfaction from what they’re doing.

Recommendations
Inform management of the benefits of having the team work exclusively on the test automation project.
SHARE INFORMATION to management about the risks of not being able to implement automation as successfully if the team cannot concentrate completely on it, at least for a time.

Potential Problems
If you do most of the automation work on the side-line, maybe because you found it really interesting, you let management believe that everybody will be doing it just like you and they will expect the same from everybody. This is a good way to loose good people if they are not willing to sacrifice all their free time for the job.

Issues addressed by this pattern
INADEQUATE TEAM
SCHEDULE SLIP
UNMOTIVATED TEAM

Experiences
If you have used this pattern, please add your name and a brief story of how you used this pattern: your context, what you did, and how well it worked - or how it didn't work!

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