You’re a QA manager, and you’ve been tasked with overseeing the entire quality of your company’s product development. You’re concerned now since the product is large and complicated. What is the first thing that comes to mind as a way to assist you?
A test plan!
A test plan is a document that lays out the steps involved in the testing process. It includes testing process guidelines such as approach, testing tasks, environment requirements, resource requirements, timetable, and constraints.
You must be considering how to construct a solid test plan once you’ve found a suitable test plan tool. What goes into putting together a test strategy? What are the steps in the test plan? It’s no problem! Here, we’ll go over the answers to all of your queries about the testing plan.
What is a test plan?
“A test plan is a document that outlines the strategy for ensuring that a product or system is built in accordance with its specifications and requirements.”
It specifies the scope of software testing, the testing techniques to be utilized, the resources needed for testing, and the test activities to be performed. The scope aids in the identification of test items and features to be evaluated. A test plan also includes information on who will do each duty.
“A Test Plan Is a Document Detailing the Objectives, Target Market, Internal Beta Team, And Processes for A Specific Beta Test for A Software or Hardware Product,” according to Wikipedia. A Detailed Understanding of The Actual Workflow Is Usually Included in The Plan.”
In the Software Development Life Cycle, a solid test plan encompasses all of the testing phases (SDLC).
You build a test strategy to ensure that your design meets the standards. Following design, product development begins, with the goal of developing a manufacturing or production test plan. If your product has multiple components and modules, you’ll also need a regression testing strategy to ensure that everything works as it should.
The test plan document’s format varies depending on the product and the organization. You can create a master plan with high-level specifics on overall requirements for larger and more complex projects. The master test plan is backed up by subsidiary test plans that provide all of the information needed to test each component or module.
Why create a test plan?
You might be asking why it’s important to devote so much time and effort to develop a test plan. Why don’t you just jump right into testing and get to work?
So, hang in there! You might want to reconsider. Testing is a crucial part of the SDLC since it determines and regulates the quality of your deliverables. You’ll need a robust test plan if you wish to deliver a bug-free product on schedule.
Making a test plan offers multiple benefits:
- It is a manual for the testing procedure. It guides your testing strategy and outlines the testing procedures to follow.
- It contains information about the testing scope, which prohibits the team from testing functionality that is “out of scope.”
- It assists in determining the amount of time and effort required to test the product.
- It clearly outlines each team member’s tasks and responsibilities, ensuring that everyone on the testing team understands what is expected of them.
- It establishes a timetable for testing activities. As a result, you’ll have a baseline plan to control and track the testing progress of your team.
- It lays out the resources and equipment requirements that are required to complete the testing process.
- It can be shared with your client to provide them with information about your testing method and to build their trust.
How to create/write a good test plan?
You’re certain that a test strategy is a key to a successful testing procedure at this point. Now you’re probably wondering, “How can I write a good test plan?” A test plan software can be used to generate and compose an effective test plan. Also, by following the methods below, we may design an effective software test plan:
1. Analyze the Product
To acquire a better understanding of the product, its features, and functionalities, the first step in establishing a test plan is to examine it. Investigate the client’s business needs and what he or she expects from the finished product. To build the ability to test the product from the user’s perspective, and understand the users and use cases.
2. Develop Test Strategy
After you’ve completed your product analysis, you’ll be able to create a test plan for various test levels. Several testing methodologies might be included in your test plan. You choose which testing approaches to utilize based on the use cases and business needs.
If you’re constructing a website with thousands of users, for example, you’ll include ‘Load Testing’ in your test strategy. Similarly, if you’re working on an e-commerce site that involves online financial transactions, you’ll place a premium on security and penetration testing.
3. Define Scope
A solid test plan spells forth the scope of the test and its limitations. You can utilize the requirements specifications document to determine what is included and what is omitted from the scope. Make a list of ‘to be tested’ and ‘not to be tested’ features. Your test plan will become more specific and useful as a result of this. You may also need to specify a list of deliverables as a testing process output.
The term ‘scope’ refers to both functionalities and testing procedures. If any testing technique, such as security testing, is out of scope for your product, you may need to specify it clearly. Similarly, while running load testing on an application, you must define the maximum number of users.
4. Develop a Schedule
You can create a testing schedule if you have a good understanding of the testing strategy and scope. Divide the work into testing activities and calculate the amount of time it will take. You can also estimate how much time each task will take. You may now add a test schedule to your testing plan, which will help you keep track of the testing process’ progress.
5. Define Roles and Responsibilities
The tasks and responsibilities of the testing team and team manager are clearly defined in a good test plan. The ‘Roles and Responsibilities’ section, as well as the ‘schedule’ portion, explain to everyone what to do and when to do it.
6. Anticipate Risks
Without expected risks, mitigation measures, and risk actions, your test strategy is incomplete. In software testing, there are numerous types of risks, including scheduling, budget, experience, and knowledge. You must outline the risks associated with your product, as well as risk responses and mitigation measures, in order to reduce their severity.
What to include in the test plan?
Different people may propose various sections for inclusion in the testing strategy. But who will decide on the appropriate format? Why not use an IEEE Standard test plan template to ensure that your test plan satisfies all of the requirements?
The use of standardized templates will boost your team’s confidence and professionalism. Let’s look at the specifics to see how you may design a test plan that adheres to the IEEE 829 standard. Prior to that, we must first comprehend the IEEE 829 standard.
IEEE 829 Standard for Test Plan
IEEE is an international organization that creates globally accepted standards and template documents. The IEEE 829 standard for system and software documentation has been established. It defines the format of a set of documents that must be submitted at each level of software and system testing.
IEEE has specified eight stages in the documentation process, producing a separate document for each stage
According to IEEE 829 test plan standard, the following sections go into creating a testing plan:
1. Test plan identifier
‘Test Plan Identifier,’ as the name implies, uniquely identifies the test plan. It contains information on the project and, in certain cases, version information. Companies may employ a test plan identifier convention in some instances. The type of test plan is also included in the test plan identification. The following are examples of test plans:
A single high-level test plan for a project or product that incorporates all other test plans.
Testing Level Specific Test Plans: Each level of testing, i.e., unit level, integration level, system level, and acceptance level, can have its own test plan.
Specific Test Plans for Specific Testing Forms: Plans for major types of testing, such as Performance Testing Plans.
The testing plan is detailed in the introduction. It establishes the test plan’s goal, scope, goals, and objectives. It also has budget and resource limits. It will also detail any test plan constraints and limitations.
3. Test items
The artifacts that will be tested are listed as test items. It could be one or more project/product modules, as well as their versions.
4. Features to be tested
All of the features and functionalities that will be tested are detailed in this section. It must also provide references to the requirements specifications documents, which describe the features to be tested in-depth.
5. Features not to be tested
This section lists the features and functions that are not included in the testing. It must include justifications for why certain features will not be tested.
The approach to testing will be defined in this section. It explains how the testing will be carried out. It includes details on the test data sources, inputs and outputs, testing procedures, and priorities. The technique will specify the guidelines for requirements analysis, scenario development, acceptance criteria development, and test case construction and execution.
7. Item pass/fail criteria
This section explains how to evaluate the test results using success criteria. It specifies the success criteria for each functionality to be tested in great detail.
8. Suspension criteria and resumption requirements
It shall detail any criteria that may lead to the suspension of testing activities, as well as the conditions to resume testing.
9. Test deliverables
The documents that the testing team will give at the end of the testing process are known as test deliverables. Test cases, sample data, test reports, and issue logs are all examples of this.
10. Testing tasks
Testing tasks are defined in this section. It will also detail any job dependencies, as well as the resources necessary and task completion times. Creating test scenarios, test cases, test scripts, executing test cases, reporting defects, and creating an issue log are all examples of testing tasks.
11. Environmental needs
The prerequisites for the test environment are described in this section. It might be hardware, software, or any other type of testing environment. What test equipment is already in place and what has to be procured should be identified in the plan.
In this section of the test plan, roles and responsibilities are assigned to the testing team.
13. Staffing and training needs
This section outlines the staff training requirements for successfully completing the planned testing activities.
Testing activities are given dates, which are then used to generate the timetable. This timeline must coincide with the development schedule in order to provide a realistic test strategy.
15. Risks and contingencies
It’s critical to understand the dangers, their likelihood, and their consequences. The test strategy must also include ways of mitigating the risks that have been identified. The test strategy should also incorporate contingencies.
This section provides the stakeholders’ signatures of approval.
Test Plan Template
A test plan template is a precise breakdown of all the testing activities and objectives that must be completed on a product or software in order to guarantee that it satisfies all requirements and is of high quality. A product description, objectives, testing strategies, scope, timetable, processes, testing resources, and deliverables are all included in a test plan.
Test plans are critical in the creation of software because they explain what testing has to be done to guarantee that the program is up to code and working properly. To ensure that every aspect of software testing is covered for each project, a test plan template is used as a guide for all tests.
Having specific test plan templates for each technique of testing, or including all parts of testing in a dynamic document, can help you understand which portions of the product still need development.
We went over the specifics of a test plan and what should be included in one in this article. A testing plan is a document that specifies the testing approach for a certain project or product.
The test plan serves as a roadmap for the testing process and is essential for keeping the process on track. There may be disagreements on what should be included in a test plan, so we can use the IEEE 829 standard to narrow the gap.
The basic aspects of a testing plan, according to this standard, are the test plan identification, introduction, test items, features to be tested, features not to be tested, approach and item pass/fail. Criteria, suspension criteria, resumption requirements, test deliverables, testing tasks, environmental requirements, responsibilities, staffing and training requirements, timetable, risks and contingencies, and approvals are all things to consider.
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