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Key Challenges in Test Estimation and Planning

The test effort estimation and test planning depend on lot of efforts that affect the accuracy of the estimation. Following are some of the factors that have been encountered in the different testing projects that were executed.

Testers not involved in project estimate

In many cases, when a project is estimated, very rarely the testing groups is consulted, which results in not taking into account various factors that otherwise should have been taken care with respect to testing.

Complex functionality /No requirements

Not understanding the extra functionality of the application while estimating the effort ends up in an inaccurate estimate. There are times when even documented requirements are not made available to do proper test estimation.

Changing requirements

Projects where there are many change requirements end up in having an inaccurate estimate. Having a good change management process with assurance group involvement is the key to manage changing requirements.

How much to test – Incremental development

Estimating  for a project, which is an incremental development, could be erroneous as gauging the amount of test effort  involved  in the change in sometimes a challenge. For example, a small change might require the entire application to be re-tested. Assurance group involvement in the impact analysis meeting will be  enhance the courage to the right extent.

Shrinking of testing time due to upstream delays

Most project have development schedule the slippages, but the date of the delivery generally has to be maintained, which invariably affects  the execution of test plan. In very rare cases does the test manager has the option to negotiate schedule.

Not focus on the critical area of product

Due to lack of planning, the wrong test strategy would be put in place and ultimately enough time and focus may not be given to the high-risk areas.

Project communication/coordination

Most project managers forget to allocate time for communication and coordination, which especially in an offshore/onsite model would result in more effort being spent in the project that planned.

Incorrect scripts

In case incorrect manual scripts are provided for a project like test automation ,the accuracy of the estimate goes awry; so the accuracy of the script need to be checked while estimating the effort required to automate the manuscript.

Tester expertise

If the tester expertise is not taken into account, invariably the learning curve would cause your estimate to be skewed.

No test data/Wrong test data

Some test managers forget to consider where the test data comes from, which is some cases in the major factor for the success of the project.

Test environment setup

Not planning for the test environment setup and not setting up the environment on time might result in delay of testing.

Source : “Software Testing – Effective Methods, Tools and Techniques book authored by our director, Mr Pradeep Oak and published by McGraw Hill.