QA Testing: How to Estimate the Required Time

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Testing time is critical in any project. It is also essential to hire a  team of experienced software testing engineers to ensure that you get quality work. If you do not estimate the time correctly, you may get several negative effects. There are several factors that you can follow to estimate QA time. Let’s discuss some of the ways for estimating QA time.

Breakdown of workload

Breaking down the workload is a common way to deconstruct a project into parts so that they can be delivered in the set time frame.

Three-point estimate

This tool is used for managing testing deadlines, and it is based on assumptions. Every task has its time allocation. Based on this model, the time estimation assigned for every task has a useful formula in determining the time estimate. The procedure used is E= (O+4*R+P)/6.

It is important to note that this method is only used for testing time estimation, but the project quality requirements and testing types are individual. Therefore, the methods will probably be modified.

Use the Delphi method

This method is based on communication, and it is dependent on the assessment of the team expert. In most cases, QA testing company relies on their surveys and real-time meetings to implement procedures and define the tasks’ average time estimate.

Functional point analysis

This type relies on the size of the project function if it is used to measure development and testing time. According to this method, the time estimation is set depending on the task. Every task is ranked based on its complexity. The QA engineers then calculate how many tasks should go with the weight assigned in the category and then divide the number of hours a person should use to complete a functional unit. Functional Point Analysis can also be used in measuring the project from the start to the end despite the technologies being utilized.

Planning poker

Just from the name itself, this is a gaming technique. For a project to work, breaking down the project into small tasks is essential so that every member can estimate time. The group tries to evaluate the time spent on a specific task by putting the numbered cards facing a table. When the team leader reveals the cards, the members begin the discussion. The members discuss the numbers collectively; therefore, this method is usually bias-free.

You should employ the techniques named above to estimate time. These techniques have their unique characteristics, which form the strengths and weaknesses of each approach. Once you explore these techniques, you can choose which one is the most suitable for you.

If a specific technique has disadvantages, but you feel that it is still one of the best for your project, you can combine the strategies and experiment with all of them. Once you use different techniques and combinations, you will be able to compare the achieved results.

As you test, you must understand that the process is performed in a specific project; hence, varying project characteristics and the QA engineers’ position in the project may significantly impact the duration of the test. Some of the risks involved include the need for ensuring a high-quality level, the lack of experience for testing in a particular project, and insufficient documents, among others.

When you estimate testing time for a particular task, evaluate the risks associated with the task testing. Keep in mind that every risk needs time to get rid of its consequences. Such risks may include lack of knowledge for testing tools and techniques, instability with the table data, etc.

Moreover, using experience to test time estimation is crucial since most estimation techniques typically are based on this. Sometimes your estimation technique may not be subjective and uses personal experience. The results from the previous estimate can be necessary for supporting the results of your preferred technique and build a strong planning basis.

If you find that your estimate is wrong, the first thing you should do is to admit your mistake. Admitting to the mistake will reduce the negative consequences and will communicate to your teammates about the mistake. Therefore, it will be easy to implement the most suitable solution. Refusal to admit the error will not change the situation for the better but will only make things worse.

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