Did you know that a missing hyphen cost NASA $135 million in its 1962 Mariner 1 launch? All it took was a tiny problem in the code to force a self-destruct. That’s how serious things can get if you don’t impart equal emphasis to every single component of software testing. The process of creating a test plan is a relatively overlooked component.
Test planning marks the beginning of all software testing life cycles. Creating a test plan occurs in the development stage, which takes a lot of time to execute tests. It also enables all parties to reach a mutual agreement and ensure that the software works as expected.
This post will take a detailed look into a step-wise guide to creating a test plan. But before that, we will check out exactly what a test plan is, why it is essential, and its components. Let us begin.
A test plan refers to a blueprint defining different activities and areas of software. The details document outlines objectives, test criteria, strategy resource allocation, test environment setup, resources required, scheduling, and success criteria to test specific software features.
The core aim is to identify errors, defects, or other gaps that can cause a software product to act in an unintended way. The QA team can use the test plan as a reference point for different testing activities. You can also consider the test plan as a set template for the testing manager to carry out monitored software testing activities.
The test manager, test engineer, and test lead using a versatile automated software testing platform contribute to creating a robust test plan. The document also specifies risk or error resolution methods. The comprehensiveness and detailing of the test plan are directly proportional to the success of the entire software testing life cycle.
A QA team can efficiently work towards the goal if you have prepared a clear test plan beforehand. Or else the team members can’t be on the same page, which creates more confusion. Any team member can refer to this blueprint anytime for more clarity.
The attached plan contains information about what you’re testing, how you will conduct those tests, responsibilities, and desired outcomes. Here are some test plan components.
- Resource Allocation
- Defect Management
- Exit Parameters
- Risk Management
Now that we thoroughly understand a test plan, its importance and what it contains, let us move on to the step-by-step process of creating a test plan. There are eight key steps in writing a test plan. Let us take a look.
- Product analysis
- Test strategy design
- Defining test objectives
- Outlining and establishing test criteria
- Resource planning and allocation
- Defining test environment setup
- Test scheduling and estimation
- Determining test deliverables
Testing a software product without fully getting to know it is impossible. The first face of creating a test plan is to ask who will use the site, its purpose, how it will work, and the product uses. You can start by interviewing your client, developer, and designer and move on to revealing the project documentation and performing a product walk-through.
The test strategy design step is key to obtaining a killer Mobile app testing strategy. It revolves around project efforts and objectives and how you can achieve them. The test strategy document should list the testing scope and type, along with test logistics, issues, and risks.
Start this step by listing system functionalities and features such as user interface and performance. based on the test parameters, identify the result or your aim. The core objective of a software product undergoing a testing life cycle is to find as many effects as possible and to ensure a bug-free release.
You can base or test judgment or a test procedure on a standard role that is test criteria. In other words, they are rules or standards that govern all activities while testing a product. There are two types of criteria- suspension and exit. Suspension criteria are a benchmark to suspend tests until resolution. The exit criteria signify that a project or a test phase is successfully complete. The testing team should meet these criteria before moving to the next development stage.
Resource planning and allocation involve having a clear summary of the resources of project will need. This process helps test managers make resource allocations and accurate estimations of the team needs for running the entire project. The computer, network, test tool, and server are some system resources to include in this step.
Attached environment comprises physical environments (server), a front end, user environment, and a real business environment. For a smooth set up, the development and testing teams need smooth cooperation. Get a clear understanding of the web application by asking relevant questions to the developer.
Test scheduling and estimation involve breaking the project down into manageable tasks and dedicating a fixed amount of effort in time to each. Make a schedule for completing them within a stipulated time frame by keeping inputs such as project deadlines, resources available, and associated risks into account.
The final step is to determine the test deliverables comprising tools, components, and documents supporting the entire team’s testing efforts. The deliverables also include error logs, execution logs, procedures, simulators, design specifications, documents, installation, and so on.
Depending on the quality of your test planning stage, the output of the testing phase can be positive or negative. The Quality Assurance team should always remember not to treat the test plan as a starting document. The professionals involved need to update it depending on the demands to keep the software product working as expected.