I'm wondering if anyone can supply the typical dev/QA cost percentage in their organization or in their past experience. In other words if the dev expense on a project is $1000 and the QA expense for that project is $500 then the QA expense is 50% of the dev expense. Now I know that 'expense' is a loaded word and that there are a variety of expenses that QA might incur that development normally wouldn't however, my current organization is using expense as a proxy for dev/QA ratios, which of course have their own complexity.
I'm not really looking for reasons why this approach is or is not good, or why management should be informed/taught why it is not necessarily a good approach. I am facing an entrenched belief that the percentages should be a certain figure, (QA 50% or less than Dev), and in order to move forward in changing this mentality, I need to have some solid knowledge of what percentages organizations out there are already at. I know that Gartner is probably one source, I am hoping that others in this group can either provide information for their organizations, (within their confidentiality requirements of course), or point me to areas where that data may already have been collected and is available.
Thanks in advance for any help that you can offer
I have come across the use of percentages used to identify QA work as a % or dev work. Its just a good a way as others to do the estimating. The percentage you use is what you can get away with or what has been approved. If you want a higher percentage that you are getting I would suggest getting actual expense for both Dev and QA from previous projects and using that to identify a change in the percentage.
Using data from other people may not be acceptable to your management unless you can prove with back-up it is from what they consider to be an accredited source.
As usual, Lynne is dead-on! The comparison of expenses is very subjective by company. It is based on core salary, ratios of testers to developers, if there is a true QA, or just a QC department, and the extent to which the testing is performed. In my opinion the expense is close to equal, but that is not the case for everyone.