Test Estimation for Managers

Julie Gardiner, The Test People

Test estimation is one of the most difficult software development activities to do well. The primary reason is that testing is not an independent activity and is often plagued by upstream destabilizing dependencies. Julie Gardiner describes common problems in test estimation, explains how to overcome them, and reveals six powerful ways to estimate test effort. Some estimation techniques are quick but can be challenged easily; others are more detailed and time consuming to use. The estimation methods Julie discusses include FIA (Finger in the Air), Formula or Percentage, Historical, Consensus of Experts, Work Breakdown Structures, and Estimation Models. Through the use of exercises, you will gain experience using these techniques. Julie looks at how we can approach the “set-in-stone deadlines” often presented to us and effectively communicate estimates for testing to senior management. Spreadsheets and utilities will be given out during this session to help testers, test managers, and development managers improve their estimation practices.