From the very start of staffing your manual testing team your task is to decide how many people your company needs. Normally you’ll need to run a certain set of tests for a certain period of time. It may be both quite easy and extremely difficult to understand your requisite staffing levels depending on your awareness of some salient facts like:
- How long a test case’s execution takes
- How much effort in person-hours is involved
- What dependencies there are between test cases
- How often you’ll have to rerun every test
- How many bugs are expect to be found
- How much confirmation and regression testing is required
Having well-defined tests and project and this information available already, you may quickly put together some Gantt chart as well as resource plan using software such as Microsoft Project and other programs for project planning.
Preparing the plan you should make sure to measure the amount of lost and overhead time probably to occur during the test execution because of the following factors:
- Reporting test status
- Writing and managing bug reports
- E-mail, communication and management leadership
- Waiting for the resolution of blocking issues and actively assisting in their debugging
The rule of thumb for the first 4 factors on the list is that one test technician potentially has 6 testing hours in one day. The last factor, down-time, can vary significantly, especially in the beginning of the test effort, due to the tested system’s quality when testing begins.
Manual efforts and teams’ examples
There are situations with 75% down-time and worse in which very little significant unit testing was done before receiving the build for testing, as well as 25% of a good estimate with software entering testing tested reasonably well. A full pass of the whole range of tests can be reached by the manual test effort including two test engineers and five test technicians. When doing many manual tests, test development effort is sure to be extensive as well.
Also note that a test team accepts a build per pass only, at the outset of the pass. As for the team’s organization, make sure test engineers give technical leadership to test technicians, execute tests and properly report their results.
The above guidelines will help you gather a perfect manual test team and ensure its effective operation in a short time.
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