Managing Testing Resources: Five Suggestions for the Project Manager – Don’t make these scheduling mistakes

April 23, 2008 | Author: PM Hut | Filed under: Quality Management,Scheduling

Managing Testing Resources: Five Suggestions for the Project Manager – Don’t Make These Scheduling Mistakes (#5 in the series Managing Testing Resources: Five Suggestions for the Project Manager)
By Cem Kaner and Johanna Rothman

Project managers sometimes react with shock when they see an honest estimate of the time needed to do some testing tasks. If the number is too big, you have to manage it. But don’t make these common mistakes, which will bite you in the tush later.

  • Don’t pressure people to promise more testing in less time. They can’t. Instead, cut time by cutting tasks or by helping people become more efficient.
  • Don’t build expectations of (unpaid) overtime into your scheduling. Testers work overtime voluntarily, to make up for lost time or add creativity or depth to their work in order to meet their own professional standards. This is important flexibility, for them and for the project. Don’t make them give it up or people will burn out and/or quit.

  • Don’t forget to allow time for vacations, sickness, and holidays.
  • Don’t underestimate time spent on administration, staff development, and other non-testing tasks. Assume that people attend meetings, spend time on reviews, help people on other projects, write testing project plans (this isn’t free, you know) and so on. Stick with realistic estimates of this overhead.
  • Don’t expect the testing task list to be complete, even if it is detailed. There will always be late surprises and unexpected complications. Allow a fudge factor in your overhead estimate for this.
  • Don’t bet that this is the last version of the schedule. Plan when to iterate the test schedule.

Original article can be found at:

Johanna Rothman consults, speaks, and writes on managing high-technology product development. Johanna is the author of Manage It!’Your Guide to Modern Pragmatic Project Management’. She is the coauthor of the pragmatic Behind Closed Doors, Secrets of Great Management, and author of the highly acclaimed Hiring the Best Knowledge Workers, Techies & Nerds: The Secrets and Science of Hiring Technical People. And, Johanna is a host and session leader at the Amplifying Your Effectiveness (AYE) conference ( You can see Johanna’s other writings at

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