Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Andover, MA, USA

    QA to Development Ratios

    I'm looking for any information concerning ratios between QA and development engineers.
    (standards, ideal, practiced)


  2. #2

    Re: QA to Development Ratios

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by enet_tester:
    I'm looking for any information concerning ratios between QA and development engineers.
    (standards, ideal, practiced)


    A similar question was also asked on the "swtest-discuss" discussion group. Here is a response from Elisabeth Hendrickson:

    "It sounds like you're asking for help justifying more testers. You might want to try Cem Kaner's paper on negotiating test resources (http://www.kaner.com/pdfs/qweek1.pdf).

    About ratios: I vote "fiction." I find that ratios don't tell me much because there are so many variables. If someone tells you that their project was a phenomenal success with a 1:1 ratio, what does that mean? Do interns count? Do managers count? Team leads? Part time folks? Folks on family leave for half the project? Folks nominally on the team but sucked into other projects? And at what point in the project are they counting? Did the 1:1 ratio exist throughout? Or did 10 developers work for 18 months and 10 testers tested for a few weeks at the very end?

    In other words, when someone tells you that they staff for a 1:1 ratio, you still don't know much about how they staff their projects.

    For more on ratios, see "Managing The Proportion Of Testers To Developers" presented by Cem Kaner (and co-authored by Jennifer Smith-Brock and me) at Quality Week 2001. The paper isn't online, but the abstract is available from http://www.soft.com/QualWeek/QW2001/Papers/4M2.html

    I think that a better question for staffing projects is:
    "For this project, given the information we hope to gather about the software under test and the amount of time available, how many testers will we need and when?"

    I try to use historical information, task breakdowns, and sizing estimates to answer that question. To see a spreadsheet showing how you might weight various factors to compare staffing needs for different projects, visit http://www.reality-test.com/PracticalTestingMetrics.htm (The paper refers to the measures as "complexity"--I think it's not so much complexity as size, but it's a useful technique whatever you call it.)

    An important point: more testers may not result in better quality software. Some of the worst quality software I've worked on involved the most testers. I see two reasons for this: management often throws testing resources at already-troubled projects and, paradoxically, the additional testing can lead to even worse quality. (See my paper, "Better Testing, Worse Quality?" at http://www.qualitytree.com/feature/btwq.pdf)

    To improve the level of testing, I prefer to consider alternatives to growing the test team significantly before arguing hard for more testers. For example, you could:

    - enforce a strict test entrance criteria to reduce the number of retest cycles and encourage more testing before the software is delivered to test
    - shed additional responsibilities from the test group thus freeing up folks for more testing
    - add a tools person to help automate repetitive, time consuming tasks
    - add a lab person to perform machine configuration/setup tasks
    - add machines or other physical resources to help the existing testers be more productive

    Hope this helps,


  3. #3
    Advanced Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Minneapolis, MN

    Re: QA to Development Ratios

    And here's a thread with a number of pointers to additional topics as well:


    Jason Trebilcock
    Cyberentomological Detection, Prevention, and Eradication Specialist
    Wells Fargo

    [This message has been edited by JCTreb (edited 02-13-2002).]
    Jason Trebilcock

    "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."

    -George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright and Nobel Prize winner, 1856-1950



Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
BetaSoft Inc.
All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:43 PM.

Copyright BetaSoft Inc.