Can we convince the team there is no silver bullet?

So how do you go about explaining the difference between full-scale test automation (as in the silver bullet concept) and useful, sensible computer aided testing.

Over the past few months I have been trying to get the message across to the entire testteam at my customer that testautomation is not a goal, rather it is a tool which can help the team spend less time in regressiontesting and thus spend more time focusing on testing new functionalities, and new combinations which were not covered before.

In our next testingdojo we will attempt to reach a breakthrough in that, question is however, will the method with which I hope to get this breakthrough actually work?

I hope to make the team see the light by opening up a discussion, I have everything prepared for a discussion on the subject of testautomation best practices and why do we do testautomation. Now that the actual day is getting closer though, I am starting to fear that the group may not be strong enough to actually go into a discussion about the subject.  Which means I need to have a backup plan, which at the moment I do not have.

Reason I am hoping for a discussion is that thus far the team has shown they learn best by experience and example. Whenever in the past I ran into people who learn best by experience I would let them make their mistake and then take go over it with them to see what went wrong and why. In this case however taking that approach might be a costly mistake.

Wanting to minimize time spent on regressiontesting is a good goal I believe, especially to start working on testautomation. The one problem I see is that the testers here seem to want to go overboard in their coverage. Through “youthful enthusiasm” on the team’s side, we have already spent quite some time on explaining why certain things should not be covered in an automation suite, for example testing the export to excel functionality or print functionality.

What if conversation simply cannot convince the team?

Is there a way to make them experience the senselessness of automating some things without it costing a lot of time? Is there a silver bullet which will help prove testautomation is not a silver bullet?

I still have till tomorrow morning to come up with the backup plan, otherwise it will be a lot of improvising during the dojo.