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Test Plan

A test plan is a detailed document which describes software testing areas and activities. It outlines the test strategy, objectives, test schedule, required resources (human resources, software, and hardware), test estimation and test deliverables.

The test plan is a base of every software's testing. It is the most crucial activity which ensures availability of all the lists of planned activities in an appropriate sequence.

The test plan is a template for conducting software testing activities as a defined process that is fully monitored and controlled by the testing manager.

Types of Test Plan

There are three types of the test plan

  • Master Test Plan
  • Phase Test Plan
  • Testing Type Specific Test Plans

Master Test Plan

Master Test Plan is a type of test plan that has multiple levels of testing. It includes a complete test strategy.

Phase Test Plan

A phase test plan is a type of test plan that addresses any one phase of the testing strategy. For example, a list of tools, a list of test cases, etc.

Specific Test Plans

Specific test plan designed for major types of testing like security testing, load testing, performance testing, etc. In other words, a specific test plan designed for non-functional testing.

How to write a Test Plan

Making a test plan is the most crucial task of the test management process. According to IEEE 829, follow the following seven steps to prepare a test plan.

  • First, analyze product structure and architecture.
  • Now design the test strategy.
  • Define all the test objectives.
  • Define the testing area.
  • Define all the useable resources.
  • Schedule all activities in an appropriate manner.
  • Determine all the Test Deliverables.

Test Plan Guidelines

  • Collapse your test plan.
  • Avoid overlapping and redundancy.
  • If you think that you do not need a section that is already mentioned above, then delete that section and proceed ahead.
  • Be specific. For example, when you specify a software system as the part of the test environment, then mention the software version instead of only name.
  • Avoid lengthy paragraphs.
  • Use lists and tables wherever possible.
  • Update plan when needed.
  • Do not use an outdated and unused document.

Importance of Test Plan

  • The test plan gives direction to our thinking. This is like a rule book, which must be followed.
  • The test plan helps in determining the necessary efforts to validate the quality of the software application under the test.
  • The test plan helps those people to understand the test details that are related to the outside like developers, business managers, customers, etc.
  • Important aspects like test schedule, test strategy, test scope etc are documented in the test plan so that the management team can review them and reuse them for other similar projects.

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