Comprehensive Insight into Cost and Economic Aspects of Testing a Software

For any software company, the cost and economic aspects of testing software are extremely critical as it largely impacts the maintenance cost of any running organization.

It is very important to understand the cost of software testing before you start your project. This will help you plan and execute your project effectively by reducing unnecessary costs and optimizing the budget. There are different methods for estimating the cost of software testing, which depend on the size of a project, the type of application/software being tested, etc. Here we will discuss various aspects involved in estimating the cost of software testing so that you can decide how much money needs to be invested to get the expected results from your projects.

What is Software Testing Cost?

Software testing is an important part of software development, and its cost holds significant importance in a company's budget. The total cost of software testing can be divided into two parts: direct cost, which is those that are directly incurred by the company; and indirect costs, which includes the costs involved in employee training, employee recruitment, and promotion. The direct costs include the wages paid to employees working on testing tasks, material resources required for test execution (such as hardware), travel expenses for traveling testers who need to perform field tests onsite at customer locations or other locations outside their offices, etc. Let's go through them in detail:

Types of Cost in Software Testing

Software Testing Cost is the sum of all the expenditures incurred by a business during the Software Testing Process. Here we are going to discuss types of costs in Software Testing, Direct and Indirect costs to better understand the cost and economic aspects of testing a particular software.

Direct costs

Direct costs are those that can be easily identified and attributed to a particular project. They are the costs that are directly related to the software testing activities. Direct costs include labor costs, hardware, and software costs, and other expenses. These are easy to identify as they have been incurred by a specific project or department to keep them operational during its life cycle. These are expenses that can be identified as part of the software testing process. They can be broken down into two categories as Hard and Soft Costs. 

Hard costs refer to those that have a fixed price tag and can be calculated easily based on the hours required for each activity or task. Soft costs are more difficult because they are subjective and dependent upon an individual's experience level and professional judgment; these factors may vary widely among testers depending on their personal preference for certain approaches or tools used during testing activities.

Indirect costs

If a software project is successful, it will require maintenance. These include indirect time spent away from other projects due to delays caused by software defects during the testing phase (e.g., fixing bugs after release), loss due to decreased productivity due to inadequate staffing levels (e.g., having fewer testers than needed), etc.

The time spent on maintaining the software is generally not counted as part of testing costs. However, it's important to consider this aspect of software development when planning your budget. The amount of money you spend on debugging and fixing bugs depends on the nature of the bugs: whether they can be fixed by code changes or by writing new features and so forth.

If your team uses agile methodologies like Kanban or Scrum, then documentation may be considered unnecessary because all information about how features are implemented and tested should already be available in source code management systems (GitHub). In such cases, developers won't need to write any documentation during testing processes -- they'll just have access to all necessary information from their colleagues' workstations directly from their browsers using a web-based IDE (Integrated Development Environment).

How to Estimate the cost of software testing?

To estimate the cost of software testing, a few factors need to be taken into consideration. The first step is to define the scope of testing and estimate its complexity. This includes identifying various aspects of the project such as:

  • Number of testers required
  • Number of test cases needed
  • Number of hours required for each phase/activity in the Software Testing Life Cycle

The second step is to come up with an estimated number of test runs (manual/automated) and sessions that will be needed to perform your tests effectively.

How can you Reduce the cost of software testing?

If you are trying to reduce the cost of software testing, there are several ways in which you can do it. One of the most effective ways is to use automation testing. 

Automation Testing

This type of testing allows developers to write scripts and test cases that would be executed by automated tools called test automation frameworks. Automation testing is the process of executing a pre-defined sequence of actions to validate the product under test against a given set of criteria. The entire process is designed so that it helps you save a lot of time and money on manual testing efforts, but simultaneously ensures high-quality standards are met during your software development lifecycle (SDLC).

Automation testing can be used to reduce the time and cost of regression testing. The main benefits of automation are its speed, consistency, reliability, repeatability, and accuracy when compared to manual tests. Automated tests run faster than manual ones because they do not require human intervention or interaction with users to execute them. They also help eliminate some types of bugs (for example spelling errors) that are more likely to occur during manual testing due to human error.

DevOps and Shift Left Testing

Another way is DevOps and Shift Left Testing. DevOps, or Development and Operations, is an approach to software development that emphasizes communication between the disciplines of software engineering and IT operations. DevOps aims to improve quality, increase release frequency and provide faster feedback on products. With this approach, organizations can achieve better collaboration between teams to deliver higher-quality solutions within shorter deadlines or budget constraints by reducing reliance on manual testing activities. Understanding and estimating the software testing costs as part of your overall project plan will help you plan and execute your projects effectively with minimum expenses.

On the other hand, Shift Left Testing is a testing strategy that is performed as early as possible in the software development process. This can mean automated unit tests run after every commit or even continuous integration (CI) tests before developers have finished writing code. As a software tester, you need to estimate the cost of software testing as part of your project planning. Many factors influence the cost of software testing, such as:

  • Number of test cases required to be tested
  • Number of bugs encountered during testing
  • The complexity level of the project

Understanding and estimating the software testing cost will help you plan and execute your testing projects effectively.


As you can see, software testing is an essential part of any project and directly affects the cost and economic aspects of testing budgets. It's not just a simple process of checking the functionality or performance of the product but an entire lifecycle that includes different types of testing at different stages. And this requires a lot of effort, time, and money to complete successfully. Therefore, it is very important to keep track of your expenses so that they do not go over budget while running your project smoothly without any hiccups.


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