Question: When will the system testing be completed? (At the time the question is asked, you do not know (a) the final scope of the functionality, (b) when the developers will be done, and (c) what test resources you will have available. The boss wants a definitive answer in two minutes anyway.)
Answer: Take a wild guess and multiply by two.
Question: What do you do when the boss cuts your agreed-on test duration by 85%?
Answer: Whine pathetically that you thought that he or she really understood quality is important.
Developing realistic and credible estimates is a critical survival skill for test professionals and managers.
Test Estimating Techniques
What you Need to Know to Estimate the Testing Effort
Guidelines for the Estimating Process
Rules of Thumb:
Estimating the Number of Test Cases
Estimating the Test Resources
Estimating the Elapsed Time for Testing
Deadline Pressures & How to Handle Them
Ross Collard is president of Collard & Company, a consulting firm which is headquartered in Manhattan, New York City.
His consulting and training clients have included: ADP, Alcatel, American Express, Anheuser-Busch, Apple, AT&T, Banamex, Bank of America, Bechtel, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Boeing, British Airways, the CIA, Ciba Geigy, Cisco, Citibank, Computer Associates, Dayton Hudson, Dell, EDS, Exxon, General Electric, Goldman Sachs, Federal Reserve, Ford, Hewlett-Packard, Hughes Aircraft, IBM, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, JP Morgan, McGraw Hill, MCI, Merck, Microsoft, Motorola, NASA, Nortel, Novell, Procter & Gamble, Prudential, Sears Roebuck, Swiss Bank, U.S. Air Force, Verizon and Worldcom.
He has conducted seminars on business and information technology topics for businesses, governments and universities, including George Washington, Harvard and New York Universities, MIT, Stanford and U.C. Berkkeley.He has a BE in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Zealand (where he grew up), an MS in Computer Science from the California Institute of Technology and an MBA from Stanford University. His set of books on software testing is due to be published next year.