Familiarization with Methods for Labor Cost Estimation
There are descriptions of several common technologies for estimating labor costs in order of increasing complexity. However, it should be borne in mind that more sophisticated technologies do not necessarily give more accurate estimates. Any estimation technique is based on the qualifications, skills, knowledge, abilities and experience of the employee using it and, in order to get an idea of the accuracy of a technology it is necessary to subject it to static testing.
- Recording of budget or work schedule restrictions. There are cases when there is no freedom in being able to select the required number of test performers or when the project has a short time frame. In these conditions, labor hours also need to be estimated, but the results will be different. For example, tight deadlines may be set for testing tasks, but there is still the possibility to choose how many people will work on this task. In this case, you should consider performing only the highest priority tasks and executing the maximum possible number of tasks simultaneously. However, in such situations it is important to define the restrictions and risks associated with testing the product so that they correspond to the labor costs estimates.
- Similarity to previous projects. If the software under development is the next version of the iteration sequence or has much in common with a particular finished software product, in some cases it is possible to use the statistical data of the previously developed project. At the same time, it is important that the actual costs for the previous development project are known, and the conditions for the development of the old project should correspond as much as possible to the conditions for the development of the new project. For example, both projects should have the same number of test runners or the test runners must have the same qualifications.
- Peer inspection. The number of test runners or the time required to perform the required tasks is calculated by one or more experts. This method can be very simple when an expert writes down his assessment on a sheet of paper, or is very difficult when all those taking part in the inspection are required to come to a consensus (Wideband Delphi technology can serve as an example).
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