Software testing evaluates and demonstrates that a software product or function performs as intended. Software Testing training has advantages such as preventing problems, lowering development costs, and improving performance. Test plans describe all the strategies, goals, timetables, estimation, deliverables, and resources needed to test a software product. The test plan, the method for building it, its goals, etc., will all be covered in this article.
What is a Test Plan in Software Testing?
The success of a project can be assessed by its test plan. It begins at the beginning of the project with the bare minimum of details, and as the project moves forward, more information is added. The process of test planning is ongoing and is done at every stage of a product's life. In other words, a test plan is a document that outlines the scope, available resources, strategy, and timetable for the testing activities that will be carried out as part of a project.
There is a test plan document, the goal of which is to give readers a thorough overview of the testing strategy for testing a project. It outlines the many features and specifications that will be evaluated as part of the project's scope, the entrance and exit criteria for each phase and the dependencies that go along with them. This document also describes the dangers and necessary countermeasures to test and validate the application’s functionality independently. Finally, the plan outlines the methods that will be used to test each feature as well as how they will be tested.
Types of Test Plans in Software Testing
1. Master Test Plan
The master test plan is a document that goes into great depth on the planning and management of testing at various test levels. It provides a bird's eye view of the important choices made, the tactics used, and the testing effort put forth for the project. The master test plan includes the list of tests that must be run. Test coverage, connections between various test levels and associated code tasks, test execution strategies, etc.
2. Test Phase Plan
The testing plans that must be followed for each test level, or occasionally test type, are described in detail in the level test plan. The level test plan typically includes further information on the levels listed in the master testing plan. They would offer the testing schedule, benchmarks, activities, templates, and other information that isn't included in the master plan.
3. Specific Test Plans
Plans for conducting particular testing, such as performance and security tests. For instance, performance testing is software testing that aims to ascertain how a system responds and performs under a specific load. Security testing is software testing that aims to ascertain the system's vulnerabilities and whether its data and resources are safe from potential intruders.
Objectives of Software Test Plan
- It provides an overview of where to start and stop the work.
- To be precise about the number of resources needed to finish the work.
- Timeline, based on the number of hours and workers needed.
- It has every detail from beginning to end, just like a prototype.
- To create the detailed tasks that must be carried out in the project's modules.
- It serves as a guide for following rules when the project is completed phase by phase.
- It will assist in considering the project’s challenges and identifying solutions.
- All stakeholder interactions will be taken into consideration and organized.
Importance of Test Plan
- Writing a test strategy directs our thought process. Writing a test plan forces us to face the difficulties ahead and concentrate our thoughts on crucial issues.
- A communication channel is formed with other project team members, peers, testers, managers, and other stakeholders through which the test strategy and the project can impact one another. This is unquestionably true concerning organizational-wide testing policies and motives, project and product risks, test scope, resource concerns, objectives, essential areas to test, constraint considerations, and the testability of the item.
- We handle change with the use of the test plan. Early on in the project, we changed our plans as we learned new information. We modify our plans as the project progresses and the situation changes. We can keep testing in line with project requirements by revising the strategy at significant milestones. We finalize our plans as we conduct the tests and base them on the outcomes.
Components of the Test Plan in Software Testing
- Resource Allocation: This component specifies which tester will work on which test.
- Training Needs: The staff and skill levels required to carry out test-related duties should be specified by the test planner. Any specialized training needed to complete a task should also be indicated.
- Scheduling: A task networking tool should be used to determine and record task durations. Establish, keep track of, and plan test milestones.
- Tools: Specifies the instruments used for testing, problem reporting, and other pertinent tasks.
- Risk Management: Describes the dangers that could arise during software testing as well as the problems that the software itself might face if it is published without enough testing.
- Approach: The concerns to be addressed when testing the target program are thoroughly covered in this portion of the test plan.
How to Write an Effective Test Plan [Step-by-Step]
The below sections should be covered for an effective test plan:
Step 1: Test Plan Identifier
The name of the document, its version number, and the year it was created are all included in the title of the test plan document, along with the name and corporate logo of the QA provider.
Step 2: Introduction
Here, we give a quick description of our project plan. A note to a client serves as the introduction.
Step 3: Test Items
The overall functionality to be tested is a test item and includes installation, registration, checkout, etc. It serves as a concise summary of the Test Plan's information. Each of the items will be covered in more detail later. Depending on the objective or type of testing, the list may need to be cut or increased.
Step 4: Features to be Tested
This section contains a more detailed list of features to inspect throughout a given period, which is what most people think a test plan should have.
Step 5: Approach
As a result, a client can obtain a thorough understanding of the testing activities. We outline the methods and types of testing we'll employ. This section also contains test cases.
Step 6: Test Deliverables
We inform a client about the materials they will receive to see the work's results, as the term implies. Test results are typically presented in test deliverables as metrics, such as the number of tests run, defects discovered, etc. Metrics are, in a sense, quantitative measures of quality, but they shouldn't be the only standard used to gauge the quality of the work.
Step 7: Staffing and Training Needs
The team might not fully comprehend the details if we are given the task of testing software for nuclear reactors. It is useful to have a lecture or brief course from experts when the team is testing a project from a sector they are unfamiliar with, putting exaggerations aside. Understanding the specifics of a project will help increase the task’s effectiveness.
Step 8: Schedule
Include project deadlines in the project plan. The team must assess the speed or the time it will take to complete the tests. If there are many testing phases, specify their time and order.
Step 9: Planning Risks and Contingencies
The Software Risk Issues section and this part crossover. We list the risks and explain how to manage them and what to do in case of force majeure, in addition to listing the dangers.
How to Create or Find a Test Plan Template
ISO/IEC/IEEE 29119-3 is the main international standard for test documentation, including test plans, test cases, and test procedures for test plan templates in software testing. This standard includes guidelines for both conventional and agile test plans and illustrations of each test plan form. The template might alternatively be based on a few well-known publications on software testing.
- Test Plan Template - 01
- Test Plan Template - 02
How to Deal with Changes to a Test Plan
Test objectives, scope, and other more important aspects are often more resilient to change than other details. To withstand the effects of modifications, we also need to implement the bare minimum details for the test cases. A recommended practice is to refer to schedules, personnel, and other elements so that modifications can be made without necessitating the creation of a new test plan version. We recommend enrolling in KnowledgeHut’s Software Testing training course to get the hang of testing in a detailed manner.
We realize why software testing and planning are important for the optimal project workflow and how we can execute these plans efficiently. In this article, we discussed the test plan for software testing. We first discussed its definition, objectives, advantages, the method to implement it, and creating a template for it.