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Software Test Estimation - 10 Tips On How To Estimate More Accurately

This is a first guest article by Author “Sandeep Jadhav”.

In previous article “Common Test Estimation Techniques used in SDLC”, we learned about commonly used Software Estimation Techniques in software industries.

I am trying to put some points on estimations in a very simple manner, which is helpful to prepare good test estimations. I am explaining how to estimate tasks and general tips to help us to estimate more accurately.

  • Try to have your brain storming sessions with Business Analyst, Development and QA team. Here you cover the all points & drill down these to each functional level. Try to prepare a document called WBS which contains the testing points & scenarios to be considered while testing. If time does not permits to do this, then please make sure that you have keep rough notes which will help preparing basic estimation.
  • Understand the requirement & scope of the project. List down all types of testing which we need to covered under each deliverable.
  • Resource planning in estimation plays a key role to get. The availability of resources will help to make sure that the estimations are realistic. Here you have to consider the leaves for your team member, generally long leaves.
  • Recognize in initial steps if we require security or performance testing. If yes, tackle estimating this should be in separate way.

Software Test Estimation

  • Identification of testing environment is one of the important points to be considered in estimation. It might be possible to use same environment for different modules based on your test planning.
  • Preparation of test cases, test data based on the different deliverable. Don’t forget to add time to do review & sometimes rework to be done.
  • Mostly while estimating we generally missed to add time for bug life cycle. For bug life cycle we basically required time for bug triage & defect management, so Consider the Bug Cycle in estimates.
  • Make sure that what kind of activities can be executed parallel which can reduce the effort time by half; saved time can be used for buffer as well.
  • Past experience with same would be the added advantage to do better estimation process.
  • Estimations Can Go Wrong – So re-visit the estimations frequently in initial stages before you commit it.

All the time, put out the some assumption with your estimations:

  • This estimation effort is given based on assuming that 5 senior QA members are working on this project. This estimation effort assuming that testing team will get continuous testable build. This estimates vary by + 5%.
  • This is testing effort only for functional & UI testing.
  • Once the first round of testing is completed then effort for Regression testing will be estimated differently based on the bug statistics.
  • Final point to be considered is ‘Buffer’; you have to add some time as buffer. Adding how much time as buffer is totally based on your project complexity & how critical modules are. Think of Your Past Experience to Make Judgments!

Nice Book on Practical Software Project Estimation, you must read it once to get how to estimate the project more accurately.

Have you ever worked on estimations in your project, please share your experience to our tester to learn more on how to accurate estimations? If you like this article then feel free to share over your friends.

If you are interested on writing any stuff related software testing then please Contact Us.

6 comments to Software Test Estimation – 10 Tips On How To Estimate More Accurately

  • Ashwarya

    This website topics are really helpful. Keep writing!!

  • Sheetal Dey

    good information on how to do Estimation on Software Testing, very helpful, keep it up.

  • Varsha

    Good knowledge on testing concepts
    Very helpful for freshers as well as experienced people.

  • Subhashini

    Good site for learning Software Testing Concepts.


    I want to know about the testing ways for particular application or module.

  • John

    How can a test lead estimate time on bug verification if it is unclear how many types of bugs will be found? Can someone explain this in detail?

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