software test estimate and schedule.jpg

One of the reasons that software testing can overrun the schedule is that the initial estimates used to create the project plan are unachievable. What starts out as best guesses can end up as firm commitments with no chance to reassess them. The result: planning to fail.

Over the past decade we have trained testers for a host of large end users as well as many leading IT service providers, both onshore and offshore. One of our findings from this training is that testers tend to underestimate the effort required to test and overestimate the coverage they will eventually achieve. There are many estimation techniques that can be employed to counter this tendency. For example, using clear requirements, agreeing assumptions and risks with the stakeholders, taking account of past experience, factoring in the greater levels of rigour needed for areas of higher risk, and allowing for the likely number of defects for which you will need to rerun tests and carry out regression tests. When the testing will be performed and what other sources of assurance information are available (such as test results from a sub-contractor) also impact the estimates.

In the lull before we burst into action in the New Year, why not take a look at your estimates for testing. Do you achieve what you plan to do in the time you estimated? If not, then improving your approach to estimation could be a good candidate for your list of New Year's Resolutions.

Contact acutest