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Most test automation projects never die—they just become a mess and are redone. Initial solutions that start well and are full of promise often end up as brittle and unmaintainable monsters consuming more effort than they save. Political feuds can flourish as different automation solutions compete for attention and dominance. Tests become inefficient in both execution time and resource usage. Disillusionment ensues, projects are redefined, and the cycle begins again. Surely we can learn how to avoid such trouble on the next project. Michael Stahl has analyzed automation projects and identified recognizable failure patterns—mushrooming, duplication, going for the numbers, and others. Michael describes these patterns, suggests how to detect them early, and shares ways to avoid or mitigate them. Whether your team is just starting on test automation—or is already in full flight—you’ll take back ideas to improve the chances of achieving success in your test automation efforts.