The Awful Truth About Test Estimation – discussed

At EuroStar I faced the challenge of discussing estimation and the awful truth about it. To make my live a bit easier I decided to use Prezi. If you Google-Fu, you’ll end up with all kind of stories (I’m deliberately not referring to them as presentations). Some of them are really great and if you look at them, they take you by the hand and tell you a story. Hopefully the story that the creator wanted to tell you…

Why mention it in this blog? Because the challenge was not in telling the story but in estimating the time required to tell my story. My ‘historical data’ is based on PowerPoint-slides, including animation, that help me tell my story step by step. Including details. Prezi is different, it’s like the red line. Not too many details, just some info to support the story. Mainly graphics, not text. So, I know how much time a PowerPoint deck takes, based on the number of slides. Now translate that into how much time a Prezi- flow takes!

I guess it was a combination of experience, knowing what I wanted to tell, trial runs, experience and luck that made it happen exactly as I estimated: after 30 minutes, it was up to the audience and my moderation skills, to have a good discussion about… estimation! Which lasted – as planned – the rest of the available time.

My point is that, even if you change the “tool” (from PowerPoint to Prezi), and the context (from a talk into a question session), you can use your experience and understanding of the “new context” to come up with an estimate. Also for your next test assignment.

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