PA 2.2. SG 3 – Establish test estimates

Well founded test estimates are established and maintained for use in discussing the test approach, and in planning the testing activities.


The test plan must demonstrate that realistic estimates have been produced or derived in a structured way (from a product breakdown structure or estimates from historical information). The test life cycle is defined and test effort and cost is identified during the planning stages and should be utilised to measure progress and deviations.

Specific Practices

SP 3.1 Establish a top-level work breakdown structure

SP 3.2 Define test life cycle

SP 3.3 Determine estimates of test effort and cost

If metrics, lessons learned and risk registers are maintained for previous projects, these provide the perfect basis for maintaining and refining project estimates.

Deployment notes

  • From elements defined so far, is a top-level work breakdown structure (WBS) (or similar) established of all the required tasks, activities and test deliverables, clearly defining the scope of the test estimates?
  • Does it include tasks for reviews, meetings, re-planning, infrastructure and test environments?
  • Are the test life cycle phases and levels of testing planned on which to scope the test effort?
  • Does this include a separate element for test preparation? Is there a method, rationale, and / or historical data that is used to estimate effort and cost?
  • Are estimates undertaken of the test effort and cost for the test work products and tasks?
  • Is it documented adequately, with constraints and assumptions documented?
  • Can the estimates be maintained and updated easily?