The estimation process is usually divided into 5 main stages, each in turn has several sub-steps. It allows for an unlimited number of iterations within the stages and substages. Actually, it is a complex and crucial process. From a purely mechanistic point of view, creating a work breakdown structure in the first stage will not be difficult if you resort to project management software. This program is a useful tool that generates beautiful Gantt charts and network diagrams, but this does not mean that their users will be able to understand what will happen next. Without doubt you need to know how to work with project management software tool, but in reality you need to be able to look into the future.
Well, estimation is calculation of costs and timings associated with a project. As far as test estimation is concerned, it is a prediction of the costs and schedule related to a test subproject.
Resource estimation is a challenging, time-consuming and formidable process. It is clearly visible to the overall company, especially if performed poorly, and has a significant impact on the ability of the testing team to fulfill its testing mission objectives. This is also a process that many of testers consider difficult to conduct. It is fairly easy to develop a good-looking Gantt chart using commercial versions of project management software programs. However, if we look aside, it will become possible for us to understand that we need realistic, truthful and actionable assessments. Software testing as a service is an excellent outsourcing model that helps to cover peak loads of a project and cut downtime costs.
During development of a work breakdown structure, it is important to know when to stop allocating activities, tasks and subtasks. In a coherent work breakdown structure for a test sub-project, each task at the lowest level of decomposition features the following:
- Measurable state.
- Clearly formulated start and finish criteria.
- One or more output and probably input – both are deliverables.
- Assessment of the resource requirements, the amount of work performed, duration of work and other project expenditures.
- Short duration.
- Independence (after the start criterion is fulfilled) from other tasks within and outside the test subproject
- Well defined ownership, ideally – only one person
- The mapping to one or more recommended testing activities from the quality risk analysis process (all phases, actions and tasks taken together cover all recommended testing activities)