Test Plan for Software Testing
In this article, I am going to discuss the Test Plan for Software Testing. Please read our previous article where we discussed Boundary Value Analysis Techniques in Software Testing. At the end of this article, you will understand the following important pointers which are related to the Test Plan in Software Testing.
- What is Test Plan in Software Testing?
- What are the Objectives of the Test Plan?
- What are the Test Plan Guidelines?
- What Makes Test Plans Crucial in Software Testing?
- What is the Importance of the Test Plan in Software Testing?
- How Can a Test Plan be Made in Software Testing?
- Types of Test Plans in Software Testing
- Test Plan Attributes in Software Testing
- What are the Advantages of the Test Plan?
- What are the Disadvantages of the Test Plan?
What is Test Plan in Software Testing?
A Test Plan in Software Testing is a written list of all upcoming testing-related tasks. It is created at the project level and generally specifies the work items that will be tested, how they will be tested, and how the testers will be distributed among the different test types. A test manager will be creating a test plan prior to the testing beginning. Before the tester gets involved in the testing for a new project in any organization, the team’s test manager will create a test plan. A project’s test plan can be used to judge its success.
The basic minimum of information is provided at the start of the project, and as it proceeds, additional details are supplied. Every stage of the life cycle of a product involves constant test planning. In other words, a test plan is a written description of the objectives, resources to be used, approach, and schedule for the testing tasks that will be performed as part of a project. A test plan document exists with the intention of providing readers with a comprehensive overview of the testing approach for testing a project. It describes the numerous attributes and requirements that will be assessed as part of the project’s scope, the entry and exit standards for each stage, and the dependencies that go with them.
This document also discusses the risks and essential safeguards for independently testing and validating the application’s functionality. Finally, the plan describes how each feature will be tested, as well as the procedures that will be followed.
What are the Objectives of the Test Plan?
Below are the objectives of the Test Plan:
- It gives a general idea of where to begin and end the work.
- Must be exact about the quantity of resources required to complete the task.
- A timeline depending on the hours and personnel required.
- It is completely finished, down to the last detail, just like a prototype.
- To develop the specific work that has to be done for the project’s modules.
- It acts as a manual for adhering to regulations while the project is executed stage by stage.
- It will help in analyzing the project’s difficulties and finding solutions.
- All stakeholder contacts will be organized and taken into account.
What are the Test Plan Guidelines?
Some of the Test Plan Guidelines are:
- Avoid repetition and overlapping.
- Prevent Long Paragraphs.
- Use tables and lists.
- Plan revision.
- Use only current documents.
What Makes Test Plans Crucial in Software Testing?
- They assist others outside the QA teams (developers, business managers, teams that interact with customers) in comprehending precisely how the website or app will be tested.
- They provide QA engineers with a detailed manual on how to carry out their testing tasks.
- They go into detail about things like test scope, estimate, approach, etc.
- It is simpler for management staff to review and utilize this data when it is compiled into a single document.
What is the Importance of the Test Plan in Software Testing?
Making a test strategy has the following major advantages:
- It serves as a brief manual for the testing procedure.
- Avoiding out-of-scope functions is a benefit.
- It establishes the effort, expense, and time.
- Give a timetable for the testing procedures.
- Equipment and resource requirements.
- Similar projects can utilize the Test Plan Document.
- Understanding the test’s specifics is useful.
- It aids in judging the caliber of software programs.
How Can a Test Plan be Made in Software Testing?
The steps below must be followed in order to create a successful test plan:
Product Analysis –
Studying the product being evaluated, the customer, and the users of related products should come first. Ideally, this stage should focus on providing answers to the following questions:
- Who will make use of the item?
- What is the main objective of this item?
- How does the item function?
- What are the hardware and software requirements?
Follow these steps during this phase:
- Consult with customers, designers, and developers.
- Look over the project and product documentation.
- Walk through the product
Creating a Test Plan –
The test manager creates the test strategy document, which includes the following definitions:
- Project goals and strategies for achieving them.
- The cost and effort associated with testing.
The document must specify, in further detail:
- Scope of Testing: Outlines the hardware, software, and middleware components of the software that will be tested and those that won’t.
- Types of Testing: Tests to be utilized in the project are described in terms of their type. This is required since every test detects a certain class of issues.
- Risks and Issues: Describes all potential hazards that could arise during testing, including short deadlines, poor project management, and inaccurate or insufficient budget estimates, as well as how these risks could affect the end product or company.
- Test Logistics: Lists the names of the testers (or their qualifications) and the tests they will conduct. The testing equipment and timetable are also included in this section.
Defining Objectives –
This stage outlines the goals and expected results of test execution. Because the goal of testing is to uncover as many defects as possible, the following items are necessary:
- All software features, including functionality, user interface, and performance standards, must be tested.
- The benchmark or desirable outcome for each area of the software that needs testing. This will act as the benchmark by which all actual outcomes will be evaluated.
Create Test Standards –
The norms or policies that govern all actions inside a testing project are known as test criteria. The two primary test requirements are:
- Suspension Criteria: The thresholds for suspending all tests are specified in the suspension criteria. For instance, all testing might be put on hold until the developers fix all of the defects that have already been found if the QA team discovers that 50% of all test cases have failed.
- Exit Criteria: Defines the criteria for determining whether a project or test phase has been successfully finished. Before going on to the following stage of development, the exit criteria, which are the anticipated outcomes of tests, must be satisfied. For instance, before a feature or section of the software is deemed appropriate for public usage, 80% of all test cases must be deemed successful.
Allocating Resources in Planning –
This stage produces a thorough breakdown of all the resources needed to complete the project. Resources for accurate and thorough testing include labor, tools, and the necessary infrastructure. The amount of resources (testers and equipment) needed for the project are decided during this phase of test planning. This aids test managers in creating a project plan and estimation that is accurately computed.
Setting Up the Test Environment in Advance –
The software and hardware configuration used by QA to conduct their tests is referred to as the test environment.
- Real devices should ideally be used as test environments so that testers may observe software behavior under actual user circumstances.
- Nothing matches genuine devices with real browsers and OS systems installed as test environments, whether it’s human testing or automation testing.
- Do not use emulators or simulators to jeopardize your test findings.
Calculating the Test Schedule and Estimate –
Divide the project into smaller jobs and allot the time and effort needed for each to do test estimation. After then, organize your workload such that you can complete these tasks quickly and with a given level of effort. Nevertheless, the schedule does need input from various angles:
- Project deadlines, the number of working days, and the daily resource availability.
- Project-related risks that have already been assessed at an earlier stage.
Decide on Test Deliverables –
To support testing activities throughout a project, a list of papers, resources, and other objects known as test deliverables must be created, made available, and kept up-to-date. Before, during, and after testing, different outputs are required.
Deliverables required before testing: Documentation on
- Test plan
- Test design.
Deliverables required during testing: Documentation on
- The test scripts
- Early versions of simulations or emulators
- Test data
- Errors and execution logs
Deliverables needed following testing: Documentation on
- Release Notes
- Test Results
- Defect Reports
Explain the Types of Test Plans in Software Testing
The three different kinds of test plans are as follows:
- Master Test Plan: This kind of test plan comprises numerous layers of testing as well as various test methodologies.
- Phase Test Plan: In this style of test plan, a particular testing phase is highlighted.
- Specific Test Plan: This test plan is specifically tailored for a particular category of testing, particularly emphasizing non-functional testing.
Explain the Test Plan Attributes in Software Testing
The following test attributes need to be defined while creating the test plan document:
- Objective: What is the overall goal of the test plan, first and foremost? What level of quality is the organization striving for in the allotted time? Here is a list of the testing’s scope, duration, prioritized components, and general cycle direction.
- Test Strategy: The test strategy describes which components will be thoroughly tested and which will only be tested briefly. The strategy is intended to provide a clear focus for the effort and to maximize resources while minimizing costs. The following scopes are also mentioned:
- In-Scope: The parts that would undergo extensive testing.
- Out of Scope: The parts that would require the least amount of testing effort.
- Testing Methodology: The testing methodology outlines the amount of testing that will be done manually versus automatically as well as the tools and technologies that will be employed. The requirements and goals of the entire testing cycle serve as the foundation for testing methods.
- Method: The strategy goes over the issues that must be resolved in order of importance. Test the initial components before moving on to the subsequent ones. It has two parts as well: Detailed Scenarios: Which element, such as payment or login, would be examined in this case? The flow diagram of the testing process flow is discussed, including login. Additionally, the first direct login as well as Gmail, Facebook authentication, etc. would be tried.
- Assumptions: The following assumptions are stated during this phase:
- Each tester is instructed on how to use the tool.
- The tester is well-versed in the project’s requirements.
- The development team would provide ongoing assistance.
- Risk: To ensure that everyone is on the same page, the project’s risk is also highlighted. Below is a list of a few examples of the risk:
- The effect on the budget if the testing time is extended by a specific amount of time.
- A tester’s departure from the company during the testing phase has an effect on the business.
- There is a risk to the client’s business if the product contains some untested bugs.
- Backup/Mitigation Plan: The test plan document also includes a list of backup options in case any associated risk materializes, including:
- How to proceed if the client is tardy with their payment
- Who would handle things if an XYZ employee had to leave or get sick?
- Introduce any new features and how they should be modified for the project if there are any.
- Roles & Responsibilities: Each person’s roles and duties related to testing are listed. QA, senior QA, managers, and team lead. Examples: An employee at XYZ said that login, payment, and blog integration features will all be tested using Selenium. The employee of PQR: The landing page, comments, payment, and login functionalities would all be tested using SoapUI for APIs.
- Planning: The cycle would be broken up into sprints, each with a start and end date. And by then, a list of all the capabilities that need testing would be available.
- Defect Tracking: This section contains a list of all the steps that must be followed if a flaw is discovered. For instance, the manager would be XYZ, the screenshot would need to be attached, the developer would need to be mapped, and priority and severity would need to be noted.
- Test Environment: All of the hardware, software, and cloud requirements for the test environment are listed here. These days, hardware is offered as a service like BrowserStack and Sauce Labs, allowing for resource usage to be paid for on a per-use basis. Physically, one does not need a system with a specific setup. For instance, the hardware requirements for Windows 10, MacOS, 16GB RAM, TestNG, Selenium 4, Maven, and other software include JDK-15.
- Entry and Exit Criteria: The team established these criteria to determine when testing should begin and conclude. Here, specific guidelines are provided.
- Setup of the test environment is required.
- There must be development.
- The specification document must be prepared.
- There are no more bugs.
- The program is ready for use.
- RTM is now up to date.
- Test Automation: This section lists every test case that will be automated. The broad standards are:
- Automate redundant test cases in large quantities.
- Automated testing is required for cases requiring accuracy.
- A labor-saving test case has to be automated.
- Deliverables: These are all of the client-provided testing documentation. It includes a test plan, test report, and problem report. All sprint updates and testing efforts are also documented.
- Templated: During test execution, a template with all the headings indicated must be prepared for each member of the testing team.
What are the Advantages of the Test Plan?
The benefits of the Test Plan are:
- Approach with Structure: A test plan offers a methodical and organized framework for testing activities, making sure that no crucial areas are missed or ignored.
- It aids in defining the testing process’ goals and objectives, ensuring that all parties involved have a common understanding of what must be accomplished.
- Risk Identification: Test plans make it possible to identify and evaluate any potential risks related to the system or software that is being tested. As a result, proactive risk management and mitigation techniques are possible.
- Allocating Resources: An organized test strategy makes it easier to efficiently and effectively distribute resources including persons, equipment, and funds.
- Time management is the process of outlining the timetables and schedules for testing operations in order to make sure that testing is completed within the allotted time frames and milestones.
What are the Disadvantages of the Test Plan?
The drawbacks of the Test Plan are:
- Inadequate Test Coverage: If a test strategy doesn’t cover all probable scenarios and conditions, there could be software flaws that go undetected.
- Time and Resource Constraints: Creating a thorough test strategy needs a lot of time and effort, which may not always be possible under time and financial constraints.
- Rigidity: During the software development process, test plans may become rigid and inflexible, making it challenging to accommodate changes or adapt to changing needs.
- Lack of Real-World Simulation: Test strategies frequently fall short of accurately simulating real-world usage scenarios, which can lead to problems being detected that only appear under certain user circumstances.
- Inefficiency: Overly complex test preparations might result in excessive documentation and administrative burden, taking time away from testing itself.
In the next article, I am going to discuss Test Case Review Process in Software Testing. Here, in this article, I try to explain Test Plan in Software Testing. I hope you enjoy this Test Plan in Software Testing article.
About the Author: Pranaya Rout
Pranaya Rout has published more than 3,000 articles in his 11-year career. Pranaya Rout has very good experience with Microsoft Technologies, Including C#, VB, ASP.NET MVC, ASP.NET Web API, EF, EF Core, ADO.NET, LINQ, SQL Server, MYSQL, Oracle, ASP.NET Core, Cloud Computing, Microservices, Design Patterns and still learning new technologies.