What is the structure of a software test plan?

Posted on Aug 28 2012 - 2:10pm by Raj

What is Test Planning?

This is the selection of techniques and methods to be used to validate the product against its approved requirements and design.In this activity we assess the software application risks, and then develop a plan to determine if the software minimizes those risks.We document this planning in a Test Plan document.

Explanation of different sections in a typical test plan

Document Signoff: Usually a test plan document is a contract between testing team and all the other teams involved in developing the product including the higher management folks. Before signoff all interested parties thoroughly reviews the test plan and gives feedback, raises issues or concerns, if any.Once everybody is satisfied with the test plan, they signoff the document and which is a green signal for the testing team to start executing the test plan.

Change History:
Under this section, you specify, who changed what in the document and when, along with the version of the document which contain the changes.

Review and Approval History: This captures who reviewed the document and whether they Approved the test plan or not. The reviewer may suggest some changes or comments(if any) to be incorporated in the test plan.

Document References: Any additional documents that will help better understand the test plan like design documents and/or Requirements document etc.

Document Scope: In this section specify what the test plan covers and who its intended audience is.

Product Summary: In this section describe briefly about the product that is to be tested.

Product Quality Goals: In this section describe important quality goals of the product. Following are some of the typical quality goals
-Reliability, proper functioning as specified and expected.
-Robustness, acceptable response to unusual inputs, loads and conditions.
-Efficiency of use by the frequent users
-Easy to use even for the less frequent users

Testing Objectives: In this section specify the testing goals that need to be accomplished by the testing team. The goals must be measurable and should be prioritized. The following are some example test objectives.

  • Verify functional correctness
  • Test product robustness and stability.
  • Measure performance ‘hot spots’ (locations or features that are problem areas).

Assumptions: In this section specify the expectations, which if not met could have negative impact on this test plan execution. Some of the assumptions can be on the test budget that must be allocated, resources needed etc.

Testing Scope: In this section specify ‘what will be covered in testing’ and ‘what will not be covered’.

Testing Strategy: In this section specify different testing types used to test the product. Tools needed to execute the strategy are also specified.

Testing Schedule: In this section specify, first the entire project schedule and then detailed testing schedule.

Resources: In this section specify all the resources needed to execute the plan successfully

Communication Approach: In this section specify how the testing team will report the bugs to the development, how it will report the testing progress to management, how it will report issues and concerns to higher ups.

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