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Test estimation includes all the means and techniques for obtaining approximate values for various aspects of testing (e.g., effort required, completion date, costs involved, number of test cases, etc.) which is usable even if input data may be incomplete, uncertain, or noisy. These means and techniques include historical metrics, industry averages, Delphic oracle (aka planning poker), and work-breakdown-structures.


Resources for “Estimation”

Articles

  • Project: Temporary endeavor undertaken to create or provide service or product
  • Project schedule (a.k.a., work-breakdown-structure): Hierarchical decomposition of project into phases, activities, and tasks with resources and dependencies
  • What makes for a good schedule?
    • Accurately predicts and guides the project’s future
    • Realistic: All tasks included, accurately estimated, risks understood and mitigated
    • Actionable: Clear ownership by committed individual contributors, assigned resources, known dependencies

Let’s build a realistic, actionable project schedule

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As a test manager, development manager, or test lead, at the beginning of many projects, you probably find yourself confronted with the question, “How long will it take—and what resources do you need—to test this system?” Maybe your boss asked you. Or maybe your boss just gave you an end date, and you’re wondering if you can actually hit that date. Or maybe you’re bidding on a project for an important client. Or maybe you are putting together a proposal for a new in-house project, and the stakeholders for that project need to know how long the testing will take. No matter what the impetus, it is important to know how to estimate testing projects. 

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Sometimes, even expert project managers—especially those who are unfamiliar with software testing projects—have real trouble estimating the time and resources to allocate for testing. Careful application of project estimation best practices is a good start, but there’s more involved than following the rules of project management.

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Webinars

Test Estimation (updated) - 12/08/15

Recorded December 8, 2015

Test Estimation

Recorded December 3, 2014

Test Estimation Dec 2012

Recorded December 6, 2012

Test Estimation Sept 2011

Recorded September 8, 2011

Podcast Episodes

Realistic Actionable Schedules 03/01/2010


Length: 1h 2m 50s

Some software professionals have defined project failure as not just outright cancellation, but even a completed project that ends twenty-five percent or more past the scheduled end date. All too often, though, originally estimated project end dates are based on schedules that are impractical, dishonest, or unclear. When creating schedules, we need to go beyond thinking about activities performed by teams of people over periods of days or weeks, and instead consider the constituent tasks, the underlying dependencies between them, and the risks to the completion of those tasks. In this webinar, Rex discusses some common problems encountered when scheduling test efforts on various system development projects, and explains practical techniques that every manager can apply right away to resolve these problems.

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Software Testing: Test Estimation 09/20/11


Length: 1h 33m 33s

How many testers do we need? How many test cases do we need? How many bugs will testing find? How long will testing take? Those are good questions, but those questions are often hard to answer. In this webinar, drawn from three decades of industry experience and materials in his best-selling book Managing the Testing Process, 3rd edition, Rex will discuss fundamental techniques for test estimation. Join in the discussion after the initial presentation, and ask Rex about the challenges you face with test estimation.

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Test Estimation:12/6/12


Length: 1h 33m 25s

This is a repeat presentation of one of our most popular webinars, which had over 1,600 registrants. If you missed it the first time, you can catch it now, and hear about how test estimation is done, using techniques that work in both traditional and Agile lifecycles. How many testers do we need? How many test cases do we need? How many bugs will testing find? How long will testing take? Those are good questions, but those questions are often hard to answer. In this webinar, drawn from three decades of industry experience and materials in his best-selling book Managing the Testing Process, 3rd edition, Rex will discuss fundamental techniques for test estimation. Join in the discussion after the initial presentation, and ask Rex about the challenges you face with test estimation.

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Webinar: Test Estimation: 12/3/14


Length: 1h 35m 46s

This is a third presentation of one of our most popular webinars, which had almost 2,500 registrants. If you missed it the first time, you can catch it now, and hear about how test estimation is done, using techniques that work in both traditional and Agile lifecycles. How many testers do we need? How many test cases do we need? How many bugs will testing find? How long will testing take? Those are good questions, but those questions are often hard to answer. In this webinar, drawn from three decades of industry experience and materials in his best-selling book Managing the Testing Process, 3rd edition, Rex will discuss fundamental techniques for test estimation. Join in the discussion after the initial presentation, and ask Rex about the challenges you face with test estimation.

Listen now →

Webinar: Test Estimation


Length: 0h 38m 56s

How long will testing take? Estimating testing effort and duration is a common challenge on projects small, medium, and large. In this session, Rex will cover techniques that work in both traditional and agile lifecycles. How many testers do we need? How many test cases do we need? How many bugs will testing find? How long will testing take? Those are good questions, but those questions are often hard to answer. In this keynote, drawn from three decades of industry experience and materials in his best-selling book Managing the Testing Process, 3rd edition, Rex will discuss fundamental techniques for test estimation.

Listen now →

Webinar: Test Estimation (2015): 12/8/15


Length: 1h 14m 24s

How long will testing take? Estimating testing effort and duration is a common challenge on projects small, medium, and large. In this session, Rex will cover techniques that work in both traditional and agile lifecycles.  How many testers do we need? How many test cases do we need?  How many bugs will testing find?  How long will testing take?  Those are good questions, but those questions are often hard to answer.  In this webinar, drawn from three decades of industry experience and materials in his best-selling book Managing the Testing Process, 3rd edition, Rex will discuss fundamental techniques for test estimation.  

Listen now →

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