Software testing productivity is usually computed as the amount of testing over the effort spent for testing, but it may not be accurately measured using these size metrics. To address this issue, this article presents a new approach to estimate the software testing effort with an independent metric. The sizing method is called Test Case Point Analysis (TCPA).
Test Case Point Analysis measures the size of the test case, the core item that testers create and use when performing software test execution. The size of a test case is evaluated using four elements of test case complexity, including checkpoint, precondition, data, and type of the test case. The TCPA uses test cases as input and generates the Test Case Point count for the test cases being measured. The complexity of the test case is based on four elements: checkpoint, precondition, test data, and types of test case. By measuring these four elements, this approach assumes that the complexity is centered at these elements.
TCP Analysis uses a 7-step process consisting of the following stages:
1. Identify Use Cases
2. Identify Test Cases
3. Determine TCP for Test Case Generation
4. Determine TCP for Automation
5. Determine TCP for Manual Execution
6. Determine TCP for Automated Execution
7. Determine Total TCP
The advantages of Test Case Point Analysis are that this software testing effort estimation metric is easy to implement and it reflects the real complexity of test cases. Furthermore, this approach is independent with the number of steps.