Budget Estimation #101: Software Test Estimation Techniques


In this blog we will discover everything about software test estimation techniques, various approaches to test cost estimation, what is software test estimation, and many more. So let’s get started with software test estimation techniques.

Software test estimation techniques

Experience plays a vital role in estimating “Software Testing Efforts”. Functioning on various projects enables us to prepare a valid estimation of the testing cycle. One cannot just blindly set some number of days for any testing task. Test estimation should be rational and factual. Let’s look at Test estimation best practices and what is Software Test Estimation. So now let’s have a glimpse of the brief description of the test estimation process.

Brief description of the test estimation process

We all come across different tasks and responsibilities and deadlines throughout our lives as professionals, now there are two approaches to find a solution to a problem.

Test estimation best practices

A first approach is a reactive approach whereby we endeavour to find a solution to the issue at hand only after it appears.

In the second approach which can be known as the Proactive Approach through which we first organize ourselves well before the difficulty arrives with our past experiences. Then with our experience, we try to discover a solution to the challenge when it comes.

Estimation can therefore be considered as a technique that is applied when we adopt a proactive approach to the problem. Hence, Estimation can be utilized to predict how much effort with time and cost respectively, would be expected to complete a defined task.

Once the testing team is prepared to estimate the problem at hand then it is simpler for them to arise with a solution that would be excellent to the problem at hand. The method of estimation can be interpreted then more formally as an approximate computation of the possible cost of a piece of work.

Choose the best software testing techniques of all.

The prerequisites of the test estimation process

  1. Insights collected from working with experience, it is often a good exercise to spend some time, recalling past projects which posed challenges identical to the modern endeavour at hand.
  1. The accessible documents or artefacts, where the test management repository tools arrive in handy in these kinds of strategies as they compile the requirement and clarification of documents. These documents can be cited by the testing team to clearly define the expanse of the project.
  1. Assumptions about the kind of work: Past functioning experience aids in creating assumptions about the project. The testing managers can hire the brains of these people for providing the desired outcomes.
  1. Calculation of possible risks and threats: The testing team also requires to picture the potential risks and threats and pitfalls which probably lie for the team in the future.
  1. Inferring whether the documents have been baselined: The testing team also requires to specify if the prerequisites have been baselined or not. If the documents are not baselined then it is significant to discern the frequency of the modifications.
  1.  All duties and dependencies should be clear: The institution should interpret the roles and responsibilities for all the persons who would be conducting the estimation procedure.
  1. Documentation and quest of the estimation records: All the related data to the estimation method should be documented.
  1. Activities which are expected to be performed during the test estimation method:

-Compose the team that would perform estimations.

-Deteriorate the project into project phases and successive constituent activities.

-Evaluate the estimation established upon last projects and professional experience.

-Prioritize the probable threats and come up with the approaches to mitigate those risks.

-Review and document the appropriate part of the work.

-Submit the work to the relevant stakeholder.

Most prominent test estimation techniques

Some of the most crucial techniques for test estimation are as follows:

  1. Test point estimation
  2. Work-phase based estimation
  3. Use case point estimation

Now let’s look at how and where we utilize these techniques:

  1. Test Point estimation is an effortlessly reasonable estimation strategy that is vastly utilized across the software testing spectrum. Iterative stages and simplicity are the most essential features of this specific technique. 
  2. Work-phase established estimation is the estimation technique which is used through which a guess estimate is made on a specific phase, normally the shortest and simplest of the levels and then the testing team gradually adds on other phases into the primary estimation and finally comes up with a proper estimation.
  3. Use-Case Point estimation technique is the estimation of the use cases where the unadjusted actor weights and unadjusted use case weights are utilized to define the software testing estimation.
Software Test Estimation Techniques

Let’s look at different testing types that comprise functional, non-functional, performance and security.

Supporting activities

The estimates should also involve supporting activities which are, Retesting, meeting, Regression testing, Filing Timesheets and bug reporting, etc.

Scripting or exploratory testing

The estimates should comprise the production of scripts and exploratory testing should involve additional hours as there is no preliminary knowledge on the domain or application for the tester.

Various approaches to test cost estimation

Let’s look at various approaches to test cost estimation:

Historical data for completed projects

Relying upon the efforts spent on the prior releases or similar projects estimates are given.

Organization specified estimation approach

An organization has specific calculations relying on the resource experience factor and the estimations are delivered using the statistical data that was pursued by the organizations.

Delphi method

In this method, the data is collected from the participants who are experts. In this estimation procedure, each task is allocated to each team member and multiple rounds of surveys are performed unless and until an ultimate estimation of the task is achieved. In each round, the thought about the task is assembled and feedback is given.

Expert judgement

Trusting upon the professionals past working experience, the estimations are prepared. This method is more valuable when there is a constraint in finding information and gathering requirements.

Functional point estimation approach

In this technique for any assigned project, functional points are measured. Relying on the sophistication of the working necessities the functional point factor is decided. The Functional prerequisites are classified into three categories i.e.,  complex, medium and simple and thereafter, the estimations are calculated.

Software test estimation techniques are the practice that expects the involvement of experienced specialists, as well as the introduction of industry-wide satisfactory practices like test case point and, uses case point procedures.

It is also significant for adopting a broad mind for customizing the basic processes. The successful execution of these processes directs to overall development in the testing process.