Creating a Software Test Plan
What is a Software Test Plan?
A test plan is a strategy or also the foundation for the entire test, it covers all aspects like how, why, when and what of the usability test. It is a document that defines the approach or strategy to be used as well as the resources used in development, integration, qualification, and acceptance testing. It provides a plan for testing software system by identifying the test items, what all features need to be tested, the tasks involved and who will be performing each task, the plan also includes the schedule for the test activities and also up to what quality level tests will be performed. The test plan can be an effective approach in finding errors and flaws in a system. The plan consists of conducting tests with a range of operations and values in order to find relevant results which helps in understanding what the ultimate workflow will be.
The process of preparing a test plan is a useful approach to validate the acceptability of a software product, and this document will help the people outside the test group to understand details (the “why” and “how”) of the product validation.
Why do we need a test plan?
It is always good to write the test plan from the time it is confirmed that there will be testing performed on the software. The following are the important reasons why it is necessary to create a test plan –
– It serves as a blueprint for the test – It describes how to go about testing the product, it sets the starting point for everything that will follow.
– Communication channel – It serves as a very important communication medium or channel among the members of the development team (including main designer and developer), the person conducting the tests and management team. Feedbacks from members help in understanding whether the particular needs were met and what part of the requirements were left which needs to be addressed in the next iteration of the plan.
– It describes the required resources, and the test plan should either directly or by implication must communicate the extent of resources that will be required to complete the test successfully
– Under time constraints the test plan reminds the team of deadline approaching and therefore forces the team to complete the testing systematically and in time.
– If the work is being done for an external client, the test plan would be one of the most important documents that the client team would want to review and verify to ensure that the work is being right and increase the level of confidence in the team that is implementing the project.
By developing the test plan in stages, it is easier to accommodate changes that will occur since projects have a dynamic nature and plans do change as the testing approaches. Sounds more like an Agile process, but there are some advantages in that approach (subject to the overall conditions in which the project is being development).
A comprehensive test plan can vary depending on the type of test and to what extent or degree testing is performed in the organization.
Typically a test plan consists of a test plan document specifying the following
– Objective of the test, purpose and goals of the test
– Scope of testing
– Features to be tested
– Method used (Test design)
– Test Environment
– Products (deliverables) that need to be tested
– Risks involved
– Schedule of tasks from the start of testing