Best test plan approach – Every software tester should know

What is Test Plan?

Best Test Plan describes systematic testing approach that you have planned to execute and provide quality for the project or software. Test plan is the overall summery of the test approach, technology used, time expected to test, risks etc. A good or say a best test plan makes your testing work easy and shows the best effort given by the tester to complete quality testing tasks.

Here are few tips that could help you to write best test plan :

Introduction: Introduction about test plan is the first priority which describes in brief about test plan. There should be short description that explains what you have planned and what is the purpose of test plan. Purpose should be little descriptive as What will be tested, Who will perform testing, When testing will be conducted, How testing will be performed, How will we know that testing is completed etc. In introduction part all the references and assumptions should be mentioned. All the meaning of notations should be available so that it will be easy to understand test plan approaches and the meaning of notations. Scope should be clearly mentioned and there should not be anything which is out of scope.

Test focus: Test focus should explain what are the part and area you are going to cover while testing the application. Complete testing task that you are going to perform during test should be available in test focus. Test focus should explain what are the key areas and functionality that you have planned for testing.

Test objectives: Test objective should be mentioned clearly. For example the testing that you are going to perform should meet all the requirement criteria. Once the application is tested the functionality should satisfy the system and meet the requirements which are under scope. In test objective it should be assured the all the test cases written are going to cover all the requirements which are planned for testing. What will happen once testing completes and what are the features that will be performed without failing of quality that also should be mentioned in test objective.

Approaches: In test approach it should be clearly stated that what are the approaches test team is going to complete the testing. If you are working on agile methodology it should also be mentioned that what are steps, test team is going to follow to complete the testing tasks. Test cases should be identified and focused to ensure the successful execution to prove that the system complies with requirements. Checklist should be used to list and track down the basic requirements completion. Different projects have different test approaches so please mention complete test approaches that you have planned to complete the testing.

Functions or features to be tested: In this part please describe in detail that what are the functions or features you have planned to test. Describe all the requirements with requirement ID which are in scope and that have to be tested. Also under the requirement descript how the testing team will take approach to test the particular requirement.

Functions or features not to be tested: It is possible that there could be few requirements that will be under scope but could not be tested because of lack of information provided. Those requirements should be mentioned with detailed description that why those requirements could not be tested.

Entry and Exit criteria: Entry criteria decides that you can start testing or you can initiate the testing. Entry criteria should be clear and pre decided. It should not be figure out in middle of the testing. Make sure all the entry criteria are listed and meets before testing starts. Similarly exit criteria also should be listed that once testing completes the quality of the project or module should meet the exit criteria.

Testing Tools and Techniques: Please describe all the tools that will be used to support test activities. Describe each tool that how that tool will perform the testing and what the result will be. If you are going to use any automation tool or documentation tool, please mention.

Suspension and Resumption criteria: Suspension and Resumption criteria is nothing but you should describe in your test plan that due to any reason your testing could not be started or could not be completed until- Entry and Exit criteria are not satisfied, Environment is not acceptable or available, Program level decision that you need to stop testing in middle, Priority issue resolved, Test resources are not available etc.

Test plan and schedule: Test plan and schedule describe the estimated time to start and complete the testing. Start and end date should be estimated based on testing approaches. For example- Test plan, Test preparation, Test case, Test execution, Test completion etc. start and end date should be estimated and described.

Test environment requirement: In what environment testing should be performed should be described. The same environment should be available at the time of testing starts. Environment should be consistent. All the information related to test environment should be available. Also all the system requirements should be available. For example – What systems you need to test either front end or backend, What are the system that needs access during test, What are the data required during test etc. should be described.

Risk and Contingencies: Very important and if the risks are not expected before it might could stop your testing in middle. So what are the estimated risk you could face during testing should be described in prior. For example – Unavailability of any resource, Unavailability of environment, Change in requirement, insufficient functional knowledge, Defects are not solved, Product risk tec. should be mentioned and also should be described that how you will take your test approach if these risks or contingencies arise during test.

These information are totally based on my experience and hope it will help you to write the best test plan.

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