In this article, you will learn about the importance of writing accurate test plans and how an effective test plan can help to prevent errors.
What is a Test Plan?
A test plan defines the scope and activities for the testing process. A test plan is a document that gathers essential information about the entire testing process.
Testers consider a test plan as the blueprint of the testing process that explains how the entire activity will take place.
A test plan is an essential document that helps to keep everyone, associated with a project, updated and bring transparency to the entire process. By everyone, we mean the testing team, teams that are associated with the project, as well as project stakeholders as it defines every aspect of testing. A good test plan can reduce ambiguities and confusions while assuring total software quality.
An entire test plan constitutes about 1/3rd of the total QA time, but this is the most crucial part of the process. This plan acts as a roadmap for the test management process. An effective test plan should be detailed and comprehensive. Lacking essential details in a test plan can give rise to the creation of bugs that could lead to application failures.
A software testing lifecycle defines three crucial phases for delivering successful projects:2
- Test Plan
- Test Design
- Test Execution
Components of a Test Plan
A Test plan includes the following components:
Scope of the Project
It includes test objectives that need to be validated. The project scope will also provide the tester with complete functional coverage and everything that is to be tested. It also provides information on Test Data Management.
Out of Scope
In addition to project scope, a test plan will also point out the functionalities that will not be tested or covered by the tester. Testers should be clear on what not to check to save time and effort.
It defines the conditions or preconditions that are applied to a test project related to resources, people, and budget. Valid assumptions that are viable for the project is vital for a successful project.
It includes the test scenarios and the list of documents such as test cases, test scenarios and environment details, status update after test executions. A test plan will provide a cycle report, specifying the start and the closing dates to understand the project timelines.
It displays and assigns the roles and responsibilities of the team to cover the testing process. Assigning roles to individual team members helps to improve the overall team coordination and communication when you know who is responsible for what. A test tool can act as a central repository for the same.
Deliverables provide a rough sketch about what all would be delivered at the end of the testing process. It also explains the timeframe of the testing process.
An environment includes information related to a system or an application, test data, database server, browser, hardware, and network information.
Refers to all the additional project management tools that will help to expand the functionalities associated with testing.
A test plan also includes details on defect management pointing out the steps that need to be taken on defect reporting. A test plan tool enables you to create a bug report right after the test execution. This saves both time and effort of the tester. A test plan tool will also include other essential features like the capability to capture and attach screenshots of the bug to make it easy to understand and fix.
This field includes information on what all risk do we have in the testing process. It consists of a series of actions to manage the risk.
A test plan plays a pivotal role in describing the entire testing process. A test plan tool can be of great help for the whole team as it effectively and efficiently manages test cases and plans.
These are some of the components that should be in a test plan. Hope this helps you in writing effective test plans and using a tool to streamline and manage them.