Posted by: ahmedashfaque | February 25, 2010

How to make test effort estimate?

For any project; one of the foremost challenges faced by project managers is to make a sound effort estimate. Effort estimate is the basis on which project cost and project schedule will be determined. A good effort estimate will bring customer confidence to the project and thus will ensure success for the project.

The foremost factors which determine effort estimate is the size of the application to be tested, quality level required, kind of tests to be done and types of testing tasks to be performed.

Application size is one of the important factors to be considered for effort estimate. Obviously small applications will need small effort whereas large applications will take high effort for testing. Application size can be determined by counting number of function points, counting lines of source code or using expert judgement.

Quality level can be determined by finding acceptable level of quality from the customer. In general, if the application is to be used as a mission critical application then testing effort will be high as no critical defects will be accepted in the software application. Through testing, all critical defects must be detected and removed before the application is deployed. On the other hand, if the application is to be used as a general purpose application and some defects are acceptable as long as the users can use the application effectively then obviously testing effort required will be quite less.

Testing tasks on any test project may include test design, test case creation, test case automation, test case execution, test analysis, defect tracking, test reporting, test bed preparation etc. Effort for each of these activity has to be calculated. On top of these activities effort required for managing the test project also has to be taken into account.

Once effort required for all these is calculated; summing them up will give the effort required for the entire test project.



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