What are the test cases for elevators

blog entry

5 steps to estimating the cost of test automation projects

  1. Division of the test cases into complexity classes "simple" / "medium" / "complex"
  2. Automate two sample test cases of each complexity class
  3. Determination of minimum and maximum times for each complexity class
  4. Extrapolation of the determined times to all test cases for the best-case and worst-case
  5. Add a surcharge for additional effort factors (coordination, setup, debugging, etc.)

In the end, you get a good estimate of the effort. For the automation, the test cases are prioritized and implemented according to this priority. Here is an example:

Step 1: Divide the test cases to be automated into complexity classes

Let's assume we have 300 test cases in the test plan that we want to automate:


Easyno special controls, no special setup / teardown functions, just a few steps120
mediumSetup / teardown necessary, many steps, but easy to automate with tools100
HeavyComplex processes, a lot of steps, automation very expensive80

This classification of the test cases requires a lot of experience. Step 2: Automate two sample test cases of each complexity class

Two test cases are automated from each complexity class and the time required is measured:


categoryTest case 1Test case 2


28 minutes14 minutes
medium58 minutes42 minutes
Heavy110 minutes164 minutes

In addition, insights such as the following result from the implementation:


  • For complex test cases, a lot of discussion is needed to clarify the test steps.
  • Image-based testing has to be used again and again.
  • Automation is entirely possible with the NNN tool.
  • SQL scripts are usually sufficient for setup / teardown.

These findings are taken into account in step 5 when calculating the markup.

Step 3: Define minimum and maximum times for each complexity class



15 minutes30 minutes
medium30 minutes60 minutes
Heavy100 minutes

200 minutes

Step 4: extrapolation of the effort for the automation of all test cases



15 x 120 = 1,800 minutes (30 h)30 x 120 = 3,600 minutes (60 h)
medium30 x 100 = 3,000 minutes (50 h)60 x 100 = 6,000 minutes (100 h)
Heavy100 x 80 = 8,000 minutes (133 h)

200 x 80 = 16,000 minutes (266 h)

total12,800 minutes (213 h)26,600 minutes (426 h)

Step 5: Add a surcharge for additional effort factors

However, the above costs are only the net programming costs for the test cases. There are also other activities depending on the project and your process:

  • Clarification of unclear test case descriptions
  • Coordination and coordination
  • Deployment of the test cases to the test infrastructure
  • For longer projects: ongoing adjustments of already automated test cases to the progress of the ongoing product development
  • Technical difficulties

For these factors you should calculate a 25-75% surcharge depending on the project situation. In our case we calculate with 40%:


programming213 h426 h
+ Surcharge (40%)+85 h+170 h
= Sum= 298 h (approx. 37 days)= 596 h (approx. 74 days)

Overall, this results in an effort between 37 and 74 man-days for the automation of the 300 defined test cases. Experience shows that the final value is closer to the upper limit than the minimum.


The procedure shown here assumes that

  • the test cases are already defined.
  • the test environment is available and stable.
  • all contact persons have sufficient time.
  • the test automakers are familiar with the automation tools.

If this is not the case, a higher surcharge must be taken into account in step 5.


Test automation is software development. The effort involved in such projects can be correspondingly large. In order to assess these, careful and structured methods are necessary. It is best to start with a small proof of concept and calculate the total effort from the results, taking into account surcharges for coordination, changes and project risk. This way you can avoid surprises and get the maximum benefit from the automation of your test cases!