Recommendations on How to Measure The Cost of Testing

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One of the most important elements in the planning phase is evaluating effort and time required to successfully complete a testing process. The cost of testing can be a significant part of project cost estimating, while the success of this operation depends on how many test engineers are involved in conducting the testing activity and whether they have enough time to perform their tasks effectively and efficiently.

The process of estimating the project implementation costs can be divided into five stages:

  1. Definition of the tasks that must be performed. This step begins by defining the work that needs to be done to ensure that the testing is considered complete. According to some methodologies at this stage it is enough to break the work down into manageable, smaller tasks. If less formal methods are used, the outcome of this stage can be a simple list of tasks.
  2. Calculation of labor costs to resolve individual tasks and pass through the complete test life cycle. Each task, identified at the first stage, can be resolved via certain effort, representing the amount of work required to perform the corresponding task. The labor costs are presented as multiplication of the number of test performers and the time they spent doing the tests, and are measured in such units as man-day or man-month. There are various methods for estimating labor costs. Offshore software testing is a great way to improve project deliverables by making necessary changes to them over the entire life cycle.
  3. Determination of the time required to solve each task and the duration of the entire test life cycle. The time needed to solve a problem is measured in days, weeks or months. The time spent handling a task depends on the number of test performers, but this dependence is not necessarily linear. The total duration of the testing depends on how long it takes to resolve individual tasks, but this is not a simple summation, since some tasks can be solved simultaneously with others.
  4. Construction of a detailed schedule and a step-by-step task graph for each test. Using the results of the three previous steps, you can create the employee work schedule, perhaps in the form of a Gantt chart, and compute the sum of the most important time values.
  5. Assessment of risks associated with failing to meet the work schedule and formulating the plans for their reduction. Take into account the problems that can arise in solving tasks during scheduled time intervals, and provide the tools to troubleshoot these issues.

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