| Usama Ashraf
What is Software Test Estimation?
Test Estimation is basically a management activity which approximates how long a task will be going or how much time to spend on particular task to complete it. Estimating efforts for the test is one of the major and important tasks in Test Management. In Test Management activity we calculate our testing efforts to validate particular functionality or to validate particular task.
Basically it is an important thing to manage testing process in overall testing cycle. Tester gives an estimation about how long will testing to complete or how much time spend on that particular project to complete its testing.
Why Test Estimation Required?
Test Estimation required for most of the projects because it is necessary to estimate your hours of testing before start it. Most commonly two questions you can expect form your clients or customers when discussing potential test engagements are:
- How long will this testing take?
- How much will it cost?
For small projects, these above questions relatively easy to answer but for big or complex projects you must think critically to answer those questions because once you answered those questions you are bound to complete it on given estimated time otherwise you will face trouble. That’s why you must need to think hard when you are doing some big or complex project, you should think with all aspects with all available resources then will give an estimation.
What things to Estimate?
Following things which need to be estimated before start testing any project:
Resources are required to carry out testing any project tasks. They can be people, equipment, facilities, funding, place or anything else capable of doing completion of project activity. Without resource estimation project task cannot be completed. We need to estimate each and every resource before start testing.
Time is the most important thing to estimate before start any project. Every project has a deadline to delivery. It is the most valuable resource. Without time management you cannot do any single thing, so you need to focus on time with any other resource.
- Human Skills:
Human Skills means the knowledge and experience of your team members. Your team must be experienced and should have knowledge of how to test software or how to start testing. They should have some technical and software execution knowledge. If your team have knowledge and experienced then you will give better quality of the project. So that’s why Human Skills is also the most valuable resource in software test estimation.
Cost is basically a project budget. In general speaking cost means how much money required to finishes a project. Without money you cannot buy any resource or any single thing. So you must need to estimate the right cost according to your team size, available resources, etc.
How to Estimate?
There are the following software test estimation techniques which help us to estimate our efforts:
- Work break down structure
- 3-Point Software Test estimation technique
- Wideband Delphi Technique
- Function Point/ Testing Point Analysis
- Use-Case Point Analysis
- Percentage Distribution
- Ad-hoc method
The above discussion is related to what is software test estimation and why it is important. It is the most important part of software SDLC (Software Development Lifecycle). Without estimating efforts of development and testing we cannot build quality product because in the meantime we are lacking if we don’t manage our team efforts, cost and time that’s why it is necessary to estimate each and every resource with a proper methods and techniques for delivery a good quality product or project.
We will discuss its techniques in our next blog.
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