What Is A Test Plan?

27 Nov 2018
What Is A Test Plan?

In software testing, a test plan contains all the testing activities that will be done to deliver a quality product. It is derived from the product description, SRS or Use Case documents.

The Test Lead or test manager prepares the test plan, and the goal of the document is to describe what to test, what not to test, how to test, when to test and who will do each of the tests. Relevant information that is included in the test plan is the environment and tools that will be needed, resource allocation, test techniques that the testers need to follow, risks and the contingencies plan. The test plan document is dynamic and should always be kept up to date.

How To Prepare A Test Plan

Some of the measures that need to be taken include starting to prepare the test plan early in the software testing life cycle. Keep the test plan short and easy to understand, and keep it updated.

The Test Lead prepares the test plan and includes the software testers in the process of preparing the test plan document. Once the plan is established, the testers will write test scenarios and test cases based on the test plan document.

What Does A Test Plan Document Look Like?

  • Test Plan Identifier:
    This is a unique number that identifies the test plan. Example: Project_Name_001.
  • References:
    List of documents that support the test plan. Example: SRS, Use Case Documents, Test Strategy, Project Plan, Project Guidelines, etc.
  • Introduction:
    The introduction or summary includes the purpose and scope of the project. Example: The objective of this document is to test the functionality of the ‘Project_Name_001’.
  • Test Items:
    A list of test items that will be tested. Example: Testing should be done on both the front end and back end of the application on the Windows/Linux environments.
  • Features To Be Tested:
    List all the features that will be tested within the project. Example: The features that are to be tested are the Login Page, Dashboard and Reports.
  • Features Not To Be Tested:
    List the features that are not included in the project. Example: Payment using PayPal features. There is no need to test this feature.
  • Approach:
    The overall strategy of how testing will be performed. It contains details such as methodology, test types, test techniques, etc. Example: We follow Agile Methodology on this project.
  • Pass/Fail Criteria:
    In this section, we specify the criteria that will be used to determine the pass or fail percentage of the test items. Example: All the major functionality of the application should work as intended. In addition, the pass percentage of test cases should be more than 95% and there should not be any critical bugs.
  • Test Deliverables:
    List of documents that need to be delivered at each phase of the testing life cycle. Examples: Test cases, bug reports.
  • Testing Tasks:
    List of testing tasks we need to complete in the current project. Example: The test environment should be ready prior to the test execution phase. The test summary report needs to be prepared.
  • Environmental Needs:
    List of hardware, software and any other tools that are needed for a test environment.
  • Responsibilities:
    List of roles and responsibilities of each test task.

Need software testers who can do a comprehensive and thorough test on all your applications and software? Then contact Inspired Testing today.

Sastri Munsamy

Executive: Technology and Innovation for Inspired Testing

Sastri is a passionate and engaging mentor, educator and speaker with extensive experience of real-world testing and automation projects. He has worked in the consultancy industry for over 17 years. He has implemented test automation on various systems ranging from desktop, Web, SAP and mobile applications in multiple industries across the world, with an emphasis on defining an efficient and profitable automation strategy. As a mentor, Munsamy has hosted testing community meetups in Cape Town and Johannesburg, and has guest spoken at numerous industry events.


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