Articles

Test estimation Why Is Estimating Software Testing Time So Difficult?

Management loves to ask testers to estimate how long their efforts will take. But so many important aspects elude measurement that testing time is difficult to predict. Here are some of the major factors that significantly influence our ability to estimate testing time well, along with some advice on how you can tighten up your efforts.

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland
Key Performance Indicators Building Software Development Dashboards with Key Performance Indicators

Key performance indicators help managers gauge the team’s progress, understand what phase the project is in, and figure out where costs, goals, or processes need to be adjusted. This article details some typical KPIs to be used in dashboards to provide business analytics and communicate information in the most useful way.

Christian Fernando Kedidjian's picture Christian Fernando Kedidjian
Estimation Process Setting Up Your Team for Success in the Estimation Process

If you want to be successful at managing projects, you need a good estimation process. Having a smooth, repeatable process helps deliver more accurate estimation, even when you’re dealing with strict deadlines and deviation risks. This article details some practices your team should perform for less-stress estimation.

Successful Business Proposals Writing and Presenting Successful Business Proposals

Making proposals can be a discouraging task if there’s no clear presales process in mind. When we talk about IT business proposals in terms of selling solutions, a technical approach is often viewed as the best solution, but you need more than a simple idea to produce results.

Christian Fernando Kedidjian's picture Christian Fernando Kedidjian

Better Software Magazine Articles

The Impossibility of Estimating Software The Impossibility of Estimating Software

Estimating software schedules must be an art, not a science. With so many techniques published on the subject, why is it so difficult? It has to do with the human element and past project knowledge.

Monetization 2.0: The Evolution of Software Licensing

The cloud and the rapid migration to mobile devices and the Internet of Things have made traditional software licensing schemes obsolete. Omkar describes new software monetization based on business, pricing models, and usage.

Omkarnath Munipalle's picture Omkarnath Munipalle
Can Test Estimation Be à la Carte?

In this installment of FAQ, Rob Sabourin discusses the benefits of providing stakeholders a "menu" of past projects to help better estimate their current project's testing needs.

Robert Sabourin's picture Robert Sabourin
Piece By Piece: Test Estimation and Planning in Agile Teams

The iterative agile methodology provides a clearer vision, smaller time scale, and closer planning horizon. The authors look at approaches to estimation and planning, from product backlog grooming to task-estimating tables and more.

Interviews

Larry Putnam Jr. discusses software estimation and project planning From Proposal to Project: An Interview with Larry Putnam Jr.
Video

Larry Putnam Jr., co-chief executive officer at QSM, sits down to talk about the importance of the proposal when executing a successful project, five key questions that should be answered before any project starts, and how software estimation ties into the proposal process.

Conference Presentations

STARWEST 2018 Improve Planning Estimates by Reducing Your Human Biases
Slideshow

Are you puzzled about why your estimate turned out wrong, or stressed from working to meet an impossible deadline? Some teams on inaccurately estimated projects suffer stress, burnout, and poor quality as pressure is applied to stick to an unrealistic schedule. Such project teams also descend into irrational decision-making—with potentially catastrophic consequences. Frustratingly, even when teams perform well, they are often judged by their failure to meet impossible deadlines. Andrew Brown will show how estimation errors are caused not just by new technology or intentionally manipulated estimations, but also from limitations in the way we think. Andrew will explain how cognitive biases contribute to estimation errors and show how to mitigate these biases. Learn how the planning fallacy, anchoring effect, and optimistic bias contribute to estimation errors and lead to irrational decision-making.

Andrew Brown
STARWEST 2018 Testing In The Dark
Slideshow

Isn’t it amazing? Stakeholders drop software on our desks and expect us to test it—without any requirements, design, or product knowledge whatsoever. About the only clear thing is the absurd and unrealistic deadline. We are expected to bend over backward, spread magic pixie dust, and heroically test quality into a product we have never heard of before. But testing in the dark is not impossible, and as Rob Sabourin shows, it can even be a very valuable and fun experience. Learn strategies to emerge from a murky fog into clear, meaningful quality insights and leverage unlikely sources about what stakeholders care about and what users really need the software to do. Rob introduces you to methods of reconnaissance-style, charter-driven, and session-based exploratory testing and help you provide meaningful estimates to stakeholders with minimal hard information about the software under test.

Rob Sabourin
BSE Testing To Estimate or Not to Estimate, is that the Question?
Slideshow

Wondering what NoEstimates means in practice, or why you would want to move toward NoEstimates? Perhaps you’ve heard the buzz or read Vasco Duarte’s book. Maybe you simply want to understand how you can spend less time estimating and more time delivering working software...

Matthew Phillip
Estimating in Software Development: No Silver Bullets Allowed
Slideshow

What do poker, Greek oracles, an Italian mathematician from the Middle Ages, and the path of hurricanes have in common? Given the title of this presentation, chances are it has something to do with estimation, and you'll have to attend this session to get the full connection. Kent McDonald explores the challenges and realities of trying to estimate software-related knowledge work-analysis, testing, development, and the entire project effort. A major challenge is that there are no guaranteed ways to arrive at perfectly accurate estimates, which not surprisingly is why they are called estimates. Kent introduces and gives you a chance to practice quick and practical estimating techniques that will work in different situations-guesstimating, break it down and add it up, and planning poker.

Kent McDonald, Knowledge Bridge Partners

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