The most popular and practice-proven software testing estimation techniques

Archer The Most Popular and Practice-Proven Software Testing Estimation Techniques
In the process of developing applications and checking their quality, it is either easier to prevent a mistake than to fix it, or easier to fix it in advance than to deal with the consequences later.

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With the big word "experience" people usually talk about their mistakes. This was written by the famous American writer Elbert Green Hubbard in the mid-19th century. The essence of this statement is still relative in the high-tech 21st century., But there are error categories that are better to avoid and skip the experience of correcting them.

In this article, we will tell you about the need for quality assurance for your project, and also describe main software testing estimation techniques so you can plan your budget wisely.

What Is Meant by Software Testing?

Software testing is a process of searching for the verges of the stable work of the product and in which scenarios this stability fails. The main goal of the quality assurance process is to make sure that everything works as it was planned in tech documentation.

Experienced software development engineers often say that testing is necessary to not only understand which functions work correctly and which do not but also to work out scenarios in which something might go wrong. And exclude these scenarios from the list of possible ones.

Why Do We Test Software?

There are three main reasons why testing is an important step that you cannot miss in the process of developing your product.

  1. It is almost impossible to create a perfectly working product on the first try. Since almost every idea is developed from scratch, then each project can have its unexpected pitfalls and bottlenecks. You can find them only by checking the product before launching it in the market.
  2. The cost of testing a product at the development stage is always lower than the cost of testing (and improving it) after the product has been released in the market. This is the case when an early error found is a cheap error.
  3. It is almost impossible to convince users to use the application again if they abandoned it due to crashes and bugs. The market is too crowded with competitors in all niches to introduce a low-quality product.

Watch this video: Risks management in software development

What Are the Basics of Software Testing and Its Estimation?

The process of testing in software engineering estimation is based on the four main points.

  • Time is counted as total hours needed to finish the testing stage, report errors, and fix them.
  • Cost is calculated taking into account the time needed and software tester salary per hour.
  • Resources are all tangible and intangible assets your team should have to complete the QA process.
  • Human skills are the capabilities and knowledge your team should possess to assure the quality of the developed product.

What Are the Estimation Techniques?

The cost to make software testing is approximately 35-40% of the development budget. However, there are additional software quality assurance estimation techniques that allow you to get project-specific results. Here are the most effective ones.

Work Breakdown Structure Approach

This is one of the most effective approaches to assessing the cost of testing as part of Waterfall or V-methodology. Its essence is to break the global task (testing the project) into many small subtasks (testing each of the scenarios, detecting errors, reporting errors, fixing them, and so on).

Evaluating each subtask separately, we can get a comprehensive picture of:

  • what we need to do step-by-step
  • what is the cost (time, money and effort) for each step

Three-Point Estimation

As part of this approach, the test team is developing three possible scenarios:

  • Optimistic
  • Realistic
  • Pessimistic

The main starting point is to estimate the time and money spent based on the most realistic scenario. It is also possible to calculate possible deviations. The deviation is calculated as the difference between the pessimistic and optimistic assessment divided by six.

Function Point Analysis

The first part of this technique is similar to the Work Breakdown Structure Approach. Similarly, we need to divide the entire project into modules and determine the starting point — for example, if we want to know the preliminary cost of testing, then this can be $100 / point.

Each module receives a personal assessment or a function point. Less complex tasks get the lowest score, and more complex tasks get the highest.

For example, our project may look as follows:

  • 2 complex modules each of which received FP = 5
  • 5 medium modules each of which received FP = 3
  • 10 simple modules each of which received FP = 1

Total:

(10 + 15 + 10) * $100 = $3,500

The budget for testing the entire project is $3,500.

Watch this video: How it's done: Estimating software development projects

Delphi Estimation Approach

This approach may be suitable if you have an in-house team of software testing experts. In this case, their task is to make personal evaluations of the time, effort, and cost needed to test a project and provide arguments for the estimate. Next, each tester explains his vision and takes into account other suggestions until the team reaches an agreement and develops an action plan.

Estimation Techniques in Agile

The peculiarity of the Agile approach is that it is never possible to calculate everything in advance with mathematical precision. Testing the project within the framework of the Agile methodology, the team undertakes to “resolve issues right along the way,” as well as provide the best result in the shortest possible time.

A preliminary assessment of the cost of testing a project as part of the Agile methodology is based on two main rules.

  • Collaboration: The team has a collective responsibility
  • Speed: This ​​is the very essence of Agile when a team needs to quickly respond to any changes and incoming data.

Conclusion

Because of the ISO 9001:2015 that Archer Software has confirmed in 2020, our testers know how to deal with each of the software testing estimation techniques we have discussed in this article. What’s more, they know how to optimize the cost of your project QA by keeping a reasonable balance between automated and manual testing without the risk of sacrificing quality. We are ready to share our experience from practice right now, so drop us a line to book a free consultation!

Contact us at info@archer-soft.com to learn more.

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