Test planning is very important, essential, and crucial part of the test life cycle. Well planned and executed test ensures good quality software. In simple words, Test Planning is planning everything involved in testing and Test Plan is a document where test planning is written.
Planning is very important and essential survival skill and is integral part of our life. Plans are made in everyday life knowingly or unknowingly. Say for example, “cooking dinner”. To cook dinner, following factors will be considered – available ingredients, what and how to cook, number of people, infrastructure required for cooking, skills required to execute the recipe, when to cook, time required to complete the cooking and when to stop cooking and serve the food.
Similarly, to conduct core activity “Testing”, various parameters are considered.
- Software to test
- What and how to test
- Infrastructure required for the software to run
- Skills required to execute the test
- When to test
- To whom and what to report
- Total efforts required to complete the test
- When to stop testing and release the software.
The output of through consideration of all above factors is nothing but a “Test Plan”. Technically test plan is defined as –
A Software Test Plan is a document describing the testing scope, approach, resources, schedule, deliverable, communication, entry and exit criteria. It is the basis of formally testing any software/product in a project.
Test plans can be of different levels and types, depending upon the scope of testing.
Master Test Plan – Planning at organization / product level. This is usually high-level document setting standards for multiple levels.
Phase Test Plan – Test plan for specific feature / interim release / phase. This plan adheres to guidelines set by the master test plan.
Also with the Phase test plan, there can be test plans for specific type of testing as applicable. e.g.
Functional Test Plan – Covers functional testing of a software / phase
Security Test Plan – Covers functional testing of a software / phase
Performance – Covers performance testing of a software / phase
Test Planning Steps –
You can get a glimpse of test planning as shown below
Test Plan Template
Test plan format and content may vary depending upon the standards followed. The following format details the points usually covered in test plan.
Test Plan Identifier: Provides a unique identifier for the document. Every deliverable has a unique identification number which could be numeric or alphanumeric based on the company configuration management. Test Plan should also adhere to configuration management policy for unique ID.
Introduction: Brief introduction about the project and objective of the current release. Project could be platform configuration tool and objective could new mobile App interface or new feature / enhancement in existing product or defect fixes.
Test item: Introduction and overview of Software Under Test. Detailed information about the SUT.
Features to test: In scope features. This could be newly added or updated features. Indirect features that has technical or functional dependency on newly added or updated features.
Features not to test: Out of scope feature. Excluded product features from current Test Plan. [Note: Provide reasoning for exclusion, like, non-impacted / less impacted / less priority features, as applicable.]
Approach: Strategy to test the software. Includes types of tests and how to test. Functional, performance, security testing using combined [manual + automation], manual only, automation only approach.
Test deliverables: All the deliverables from the testing e.g. approaches, test cases, reports etc.
Item pass/fail criteria: Entry and Exit criteria for all items. E.g.
- TestCase: All Steps passed
- Feature: All test cases executed and no P1, P2 defects are open.
Testing tasks: All tasks / steps to execute for test planning and execution
Environmental needs: Infrastructure required for application and testing.
Responsibilities: Roles and responsibilities for various testing / supported activities.
Staffing and training needs: Training / hiring needs to bridge the gap of available and expected skill.
Schedule: Test estimation (Efforts) and high-level schedule. Schedule should be for key deliverables or important milestones. Ideally, all test deliverables included in the test plan should be scheduled. Detailed test schedule (at feature or defects or resource level) is prepared at appropriate time during test execution.
Risks and Mitigation: Risk identification for applicable items, assumptions, and mitigation plan.
Approvals: Approvals and sign of dates.
Test plan is a guideline based on which test execution should be tracked. For successful testing and good product test delivery, it is important to update and make required changes in the plan as per changes in the any of the parameter which was basis of the test plan.
You can find the sample for test plan using below download button-