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Wednesday October 20th 2010 9am

Effective Test Planning—Scope, Estimates & Schedule

Software Test Professionals Conference Testing Leadership Services Software

Before a packed room of 80+ participants, Shaun Bradshaw presented an outline of an effective test plan. As we all know, planning is imperfect. We can never anticipate every problem nor can we plan for every contingency. However, the planning process will give us an opportunity to think about what we need before we need it!

Test plans often include many objectives and some of those objectives might be considered boiler plate. However, objectives that are often overlooked are those that relate to the business objectives. Shaun offered two examples of business objectives that could be considered in the test plan:

     "Increase customer satisfaction with the application."
     "Improve market reputation and industry recognition."

A plan may change considerably if these objectives are to be aligned with the test objectives. Objectives must also be prioritized based on a number of factors including customer needs, customer use, monetary value, application interdependencies and historical fail fates. According to Shaun, every plan needs to consider risk and contingencies which must be aligned with cost and probability. Next is the development of an estimation model which will take into account all considerations to this point in order to calculate component estimates. Finally, a work schedule is developed which is incorporated into the overall plan designed to meet the development and release objectives.

Shaun Bradshaw, VP of Consulting Services, Zenergy Technologies
Shaun Bradshaw has spent over 13 years helping organizations improve their QA and testing processes. With emphasis on practicality, Shaun has created and implemented tailored best practice methodologies for numerous companies in a wide variety of industry verticals. His specialties include effective testing and test management techniques, test metrics implementation, and agile/test team integration. A graduate of UNCG with a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems, Shaun speaks at most of the major QA and testing industry conferences and is recognized for his presentations on test metrics, the S-Curve, and the Zero Bug Bounce.

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