Considerations for Cost Estimation of Software Testing Outsourcing Projects

Fatin Filzahti Ismail, Rozilawati Razali, Zulkefli Mansor


Software testing outsourcing appears to be the best alternative to acquire better software quality with competent ratification by extrinsic parties who have the capability to do it. Through the effort, organizations are peeking to promising benefits constitute in it such as current testing technology, experts, an abridgment of the project’s duration and more concentration on the main organisation’s activity. Along with these benefits, one important reason that encourages the decision is optimization of cost expenditure, which the strategy is perceived as a good move for a competitive organization. However, implementing such preference eventually results in a different outcome. Organizations have to bear the higher cost and incur losses of cost deviation from the expected estimation. The conflicting between cost and benefits raises an important concern of striving better cost estimation for such projects. This paper aims to address this interest by analyzing the existing literature in order to identify the contributing factors towards better cost estimation for software testing outsourcing project-context. The analysis is done using the content analysis method. The results could be divided into two categories; which are the cost items and contributing factors. Cost items consist of direct cost and indirect cost, which refers to the expenses for the project. While the contributing factors consist of people and environment, which are needed to produce accurate cost estimation. The findings provide an insight to excogitate attentively the essentials in the endeavor of improving the exactitude of cost estimation for software testing outsourcing project.


software testing project; outsourcing project; cost estimation; project management; software cost management.

Full Text:



M. Doležel and A. Buchalcevová, “Test Governance Framework for Contracted IS Development : Ethnographically Informed Action,” Inf. Softw. Technol., vol. 65, pp. 69–94, 2015.

P. Mishra and N. Tripathi, “Testing as a Service,” Trends Softw. Testing, Springer 2017, pp. 149–176, 2017.

I. Tervonen, “Offshoring Test Automation : Observations and Lessons Learned,” 2009 Fourth IEEE Int. Conf. Glob. Softw. Eng. Offshoring, pp. 226–235, 2009.

K. R. Jayakumar and A. Abran, “A Survey of Software Test Estimation Techniques,” J. Softw. Eng. Appl., vol. 6, pp. 47–52, 2013.

Z. Mansor, “Issues , Challenges and Best Practices of Software Testing Activity,” Proc. 14th Conf. Appl. Comput. Eng. (ACE`15), South Korea, pp. 42–47, 2015.

S. Islam, B. B. Pathik, M. H. Khan, and M. Habib, “Software test estimation tools using use cases and functions,” IEEE Int. Conf. Ind. Eng. Eng. Manag., pp. 390–394, 2014.

Y. Lu and Y. Yin, “A New Constructive Cost Model for Software Testing Project Management,” 19th Int. Conf. Ind. Eng., pp. 545–556, 2013.

B. Benton, “Model-Based Time and Cost Estimation in a Software Testing Environment,” Proc. 2009 Sixth Int. Conf. Inf. Technol. New Gener. Vols 1-3, pp. 801–806, 2009.

I. Tervonen, A. Haapalahti, L. Harjumaa, and J. Simila, “Outsourcing Software Testing: A Case Study in the Oulu Area,” 2013 13th Int. Conf. Qual. Softw., pp. 65–74, Jul. 2013.

M. El Bajta, A. Idri, A. Toval, and J. L. Fernández-alemán, “Software Cost Attributes in Global Software Development Projects : A Survey,” Proc. 9th Int. Conf. Inf. Manag. Eng. ACM, pp. 96–101, 2017.

A. Wahid, M. Parvez, and S. Proj, “Efficiency Factor and Risk Factor Based User Case Point Test Effort Estimation Model Compatible with Agile Software Development,” Inf. Technol. Electr. Eng. (ICITEE), 2013 Int. Conf., pp. 113–118, 2013.

M. Bhardwaj and A. Rana, “Estimation of Testing and Rework Efforts for Software Development Projects,” Asian J. Comput. Sci. Inf. Technol., vol. 5, no. 5, pp. 33–37, 2015.

Abhilasha and A. Sharma, “Test effort estimation in regression testing,” Innov. Technol. Educ. (MITE), 2013 IEEE Int. Conf. MOOC, pp. 343–348, 2013.

K. Bareja and A. Singhal, “A Review of Estimation Techniques to Reduce Testing Efforts in Software Development,” Adv. Comput. Commun. Technol. (ACCT), 2015 Fifth Int. Conf., pp. 541–546, 2015.

K. J. Kumar and A. A. Rao, “An Approach to Software Testing Cost Estimation in Black-Box Environment,” Int. J. Electr. Electron. Comput. Syst., vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 1–7, 2011.

J. Rahikkala, S. Hyrynsalmi, and V. Leppänen, “Accounting Testing in Software Cost Estimation: A Case Study of the Current Practice and Impacts,” Symp. Program. Lang. Softw. Tools, pp. 61–75, 2015.

V. Nguyen, V. Pham, and V. Lam, “qEstimation : A Process for Estimating Size and Effort of Software Testing,” Proc. 2013 Int. Conf. Softw. Syst. Process. ACM, pp. 20–28, 2013.

B. Bahli and S. Rivard, “The Information Technology Outsourcing Risk: A Transaction Cost and Agency Theory-Based Perspective,” J. Inf. Technol., vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 211–221, 2017.

D. Šmite and R. Britto, “Calculating the Extra Costs and the Bottom-line Hourly Cost of Offshoring,” Proc. 12th Int. Conf. Glob. Softw. Eng., pp. 96–105, 2017.

X. Xia, D. Lo, P. S. Kochhar, Z. Xing, X. Wang, and S. Li, “Experience Report : An Industrial Experience Report on Test Outsourcing Practices,” Softw. Reliab. Eng. (ISSRE), 2015 IEEE 26th Int. Symp., pp. 370–380, 2015.

N. C. Narendra, K. Ponnalagu, N. Zhou, and W. M. Gifford, “Towards a Formal Model for Optimal Task-Site Allocation and Effort Estimation in Global Software Development,” 2012 Serv. Reserch Innov. Institure Glob. Conf., pp. 470–477, 2012.

N. Ramasubbu and R. K. Balan, “Overcoming the challenges in cost estimation for distributed software projects,” Proc. 34th Int. Conf. Softw. Eng., pp. 91–101, 2012.

J. M. Bass, S. Beecham, J. M. Bass, and S. Beecham, “Employee Retention and Turnover in Global Software Development : Comparing In-house Offshoring and Offshore Outsourcing,” Internartional Conf. Glob. Softw. Eng., pp. 1–11, 2018.

E. T. G. Wang, “Transaction attributes and software outsourcing success: an empirical investigation of transaction cost theory,” Infomation Syst. J., vol. 12, pp. 153–181, 2002.

S. Betz and J. Mäkiö, “Amplification of the COCOMO II regarding Offshore Software Projects,” Offshoring Softw. Dev. Methods Tools Risk Manag., vol. 33, pp. 1–11, 2008.

R. Britto, E. Mendes, and M. Usman, “Effort Estimation in Global Software Development : A Systematic Literature Review,” Glob. Softw. Eng. (ICGSE), 2014 IEEE 9th Int. Conf., pp. 135–144, 2014.

J. C. Liou, “Toward Better Software Test Estimates and Requirement Tracking,” J. Comput. Methods Sci. Eng., vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 127–137, 2011.

N. B. Moe, D. Cruzes, T. Dybå, and E. Mikkelsen, “Continuous software testing in a globally distributed project,” 2015 IEEE 10th Int. Conf. Glob. Softw. Eng., pp. 130–134, 2015.

M. Niazi, S. Mahmood, M. Alshayeb, and A. Majid, “ScienceDirect Toward successful project management in global software development,” JPMA, vol. 34, no. 8, pp. 1553–1567, 2016.

M. Azzeh, “Software cost estimation based on use case points for global software development,” Comput. Sci. Inf. Technol. (CSIT), 2013 5th Int. Conf., pp. 214–218, 2013.

M. Niazi, S. Mahmood, M. Alshayeb, M. Rehan, K. Faisal, N. Cerpa, S. Ullah, and I. Richardson, “Challenges of project management in global software development : A client-vendor analysis,” Inf. Softw. Technol., vol. 80, pp. 1–19, 2016.

S. Ramacharan, “Software Effort Estimation of GSD Projects Using Calibrated Parametric Estimation Models,” Proc. Second Int. Conf. Inf. Commun. Technol. Compet. Strateg. ACM, pp. 1– 8, 2016.

M. R. Thissen, J. M. Page, and T. L. Austin, “Communication Tools for Distributed Software Development Teams,” Proc. 2007 ACM SIGMIS CPR Conf. Comput. Pers. Res. Glob. Inf. Technol. Work., pp. 28–35, 2007.

S. Y. Chadli, A. Idri, J. N. Ros, J. Luis, F. Alemán, J. M. C. De Gea, and A. Toval, “Software Project Management Tools in Global Software Development : a Systematic Mapping Study,” Springerplus, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 1–38, 2016.

M. Bajer, M. Szlagor, and M. Wrzesniak, “Embedded Software Testing in Research Environment. A Practical Guide for Non-Experts,” 2015 4th Mediterr. Conf. Embed. Comput., pp. 100–105, 2015.

D. Wickramaarachchi and R. Lai, “Effort Estimation in Global Software Development - A Systematic Review,” Comput. Sci. Inf. Syst., vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 393–421, 2017.

F. F. Ismail and R. Razali, “A Framework for Managing Software Testing Outsourcing Projects,” J. Telecommun. Electron. Comput. Eng., vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 35–44, 2017.

A. H. N. Aziati, S. Juhana, and A. N. Hazana, “Knowledge Transfer Conceptualization and Scale Development in IT Outsourcing : The Initial Scale Validation,” Procedia - Soc. Behav. Sci., vol. 129, pp. 11–22, 2014.

R. Mirani, “Procedural coordination and offshored software tasks : Lessons from two case studies,” Inf. Manag., vol. 44, no. 2, pp. 216–230, 2007.

H. P. Andres and R. W. Zmud, “A Contingency Approach to Software Project Coordination,” J. Manag. Inf. Syst., vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 41–70, 2015.

M. El Bajta, “Analogy-based software development effort estimation in global software development,” 2015 IEEE 10th Int. Conf. Glob. Softw. Eng. Work., pp. 51–54, 2015.

M. El Bajta, A. Idri, J. L. Fernandez-Aleman, J. N. Ros, and A. Toval, “Software cost estimation for global software development a systematic map and review study,” Eval. Nov. Approaches to Softw. Eng. (ENASE), 2015 Int. Conf. IEEE, pp. 197–206, 2015.

L. R. Nerkar, “Software Cost Estimation using Algorithmic Model and Non-Algorithmic Model a Review,” Int. J. Comput. Appl. - Innov. Trends Comput. Comun. Eng. (ITCCE -2014), vol. 2, pp. 4–7, 2014.

K. Krippendorff, “Component of Content Analysis,” in Content Analysis: An Introduction to its Methodology, Los Angeles: SAGE Publication, 2013.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Published by INSIGHT - Indonesian Society for Knowledge and Human Development