One of the frustrating moments in any project is when you’re about to wind up a sprint and you realize that the testers within a team had totally different idea about the feature they were testing than the developers had. There is no denying that development cycles play important role in any project, but testing automation and proper execution are vital aspects in order to ensure the success of any project.
Therefore, it is important to stick to the declared estimation time in order to create a strong impression on the client. One of the main things that plays a crucial role in estimation of the software testing services is the “Experience”. Your work experience in software testing would help you a lot in preparing an accurate time of the estimation for the testing cycle. You can’t give random figures to the clients. Time estimation should be precise and realistic figures.
So, how to ensure accuracy in tests? What are the factors that one should keep in mind while performing software or application testing in order to ensure accuracy in the estimation of time?
Here’re a few guidelines that would help you achieve desired accuracy within your software testing projects:
- Reserve some time for brainstorming: Try to spare some time for your estimation. However, it is important for you to keep the numbers realistic rather than assuming some unachievable numbers. Sparing some extra time in test estimation would help you identify and cover some unintentional delays during the testing phase. Also, it helps you leverage from the maximum test coverage.
- Don’t overlook bug cycle: But cycle is an important part of test estimation. In some cases, it happens that actual test cycle lasts a couple of more days than what was planned earlier. Therefore, it is crucial for the testing team of consider the fact that test cycle heavily depends on the stability of the build. If the application or site is not stable, it will require more time to fix the bugs, which at the end stretches the testing cycle.
- Availability of all the required resources: Test automation could be a lengthy process based on the applications’ complexity. Therefore, before you begin test estimation, it is important to consider the vacations or holidays planned by the resources, specifically, those who are going to take long leaves. This would help you create more realistic test estimation number. Also, the test estimation should reflect some fixed number of resources for a test cycle. If the number of estimation changes, in most cases it decreases, then the estimation should be reconsidered and refreshed according to the change.
- Possibilities of parallel testing: If you’re performing testing on some already tested project or application, it is better to compare the output data. It would surely simplify your existing work overhead. However, it is important that you consider that the estimation is done of the current version of the application or product.
- Keep in mind the scope of the project: It is important to know the goal of the application or project and list out all the final deliverables. Also, you may have to consider different factors based on the project size. Typically, the large project will include setting up test bed, generating test data, test scripts etc. Therefore, the test estimation should be based on such factors. On the other hand, small projects’ test cycle includes test cases writing, execution and regression.
- What about the load testing?: If you are going to do load testing, then assign some extra time on performance. Estimation for projects where load testing is involved should be assessed in another way.
- Know your team: It is one of the most important things everyone should consider. It is crucial that you consider that all the resources may not have the same level of expertise or productivity level. So, plan the test estimation keeping in mind your team’s strengths and weaknesses in order to get benefit from it.
These guidelines could be useful not only for all the testers, but also for the company owners who are willing to increase their testing unit’s productivity. What’s your take on this? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Prashant Chambakara is a Test Automation Consultant. He is currently working with TestingWhiz, a test automation tool for web apps and cloud apps. He loves to participate and contribute to the testing communities through blogs, articles, and conference speaking engagements. Follow his tech activities on Twitter @prashant_geek.