Costs involved in building vs buying tools

Continuing from our previous posts on the subject of build vs buy decision while choosing testing tools, listed here are the costs involved when deciding to either build or buy a tool in-house.

1. Costs to consider while deciding to build a tool in-house.
  • Administrative costs involved in
    • Defining the problem
    • Collecting requirements
    • Development environment and method selection
    • Developing and administering training for users
    • Managing the project and people involved
  • Production costs involved in
    • Planning the Tool development project
    • Architecting and HLD (High Level Design)
    • Detailed Design
    • Coding / Implementation
    • Client / Web
      • Server / Back-end infrastructure
      • Module integration
      • Migration
    • Software Testing
      • Unit
      • Integration
      • System
      • Performance
      • Acceptance
    • Debugging
    • Documentation
    • Deployment
  • Support Costs involved in
    • Ongoing maintenance activity
    • Developing and Delivering upgrades / patches
    • Defect tracking and reporting
    • Ongoing support activities – such as running a help desk or similar mechanism
We must also consider the opportunity costs involved. The cost of time spent by employees (technical and business staff) along with any delays in schedules must be taken into account.

2. Costs to consider while deciding to buy a tool.
  • Administrative costs involved in
    • Defining the problem
    • Collecting requirements
    • Evaluation of various tools, Proof-of-Concept and Selection
    • Managing Vendors
    • User training
  • Costs related to Procurement
    • Cost of licenses
    • Cost of Customizations
    • Cost of tool deployment – setup, configuration, integration
    • Tool testing – integration, compatibility, performance, acceptance
    • Cost of migration 
  • Support Costs involved in
    • Annual Maintenance costs
    • Costs involved to upgrade across versions
    • Additional internal support costs
Also, as in the case of building a tool, the opportunity costs involved must be considered. The cost of time spent by employees (technical and business staff) in the above activities along with any delays in schedules must be taken into account.

Next up is a detailed article covering the popular myths and reasons behind making the build vs buy choice in testing tool selection. Stay tuned.