Outline a delivery calendar for your sprint

When working in sprints, it can be helpful to create small delivery calendars for the team. If you're the tester on the team, this gives you an idea of when stories will be available for you to test. Once you've created the calendar, if you see all the work coming in towards the end of the week, you can ask the team to try to deliver some of them earlier in the sprint so you can get your hands on software sooner.

I use this to think of task-out as a two pass algorithm. The first pass on the calendar starts at the beginning of the sprint and goes to the end. Here the developers are looking to make sure they can deliver all their stories. The second pass starts at the end and goes to the beginning of the sprint. Here the testers are looking to make sure they have enough time to test something once they get it. If a large story gets delivered the last day of the sprint, there likely won't be enough time to test it (much less process any issues that get uncovered).