The test plan and test strategy are the most important part of Test Documentation Management. The major difference between the test plan and test strategy is that the test plan is the outline of the resource, approach, scope and schedule regarding testing activities of the software. Conversely, the test strategy is different in the way that it helps in preparing the high-level description of test levels corresponding to the project, and tests each level one by one.
These are the important phases of the software testing process, which involves the creation of the test plan template and test strategy template, which we will discuss further in the article.
Content: Test Plan Vs Test Strategy
|Basis for comparison
|A document that specifies that project scope, and emphasis on the software testing effort.
|Set of guidelines that elucidate test design and determines the testing process steps.
|Cannot be altered
|To find the probable problems and load dependencies to identify the risks.
|For finding the long term solutions regarding the test strategies.
|Can be considered as a part of a test plan.
Definition of Test Plan
The main role of a Test Plan is to find possible problems and dependencies in order to uncover the risks. This brings the risks that are considered in the coming phases of the testing. This activity is very important for developing a project as it helps in discovering the risk regarding the project before developing it.
In other words, what a test plan does is to permit the developer of the project to make the readers of the project aware about the complete project which includes the general test approach and the modules that needed to be tested.
Test Plan Template
A test plan template includes a logical set of topics which are needed to considered precisely for the test efforts. However, the topics can be added and removed according to the project’s prescription. The below-shown template is a test plan template.
This section of the test template involves the overall introduction of the test plan topics which we want to discuss with our readers.
The boundaries of the test plan are defined, that means what is to be tested and what is not needed to be tested. The sub-titles comes under this heading are scope, definitions and setting.
- Scope is used for defining the extent of the operation.
- Definition is presented with a table that helps in interpreting the terms.
- Setting describes where the developer is going to perform the testing and the manner in which the testing is conducted in other organizations.
It involves the FMEA (Failure Mode and Effect Analysis) Chart, which cross-references the various risk categories contrary to the various risk categories.
Proposed schedule of milestone
Schedule for the crucial milestone of the test projects is included in this portion of the test plan.
Among the various test phases, the phase under the test must fulfil a group of minimal qualifications prior to the execution of the test in the organizations. It also specifies the criteria for beginning and completing the several test phases such as entry, continuation and exit criteria.
- Entry criteria – What should be done to drive a test in a test phase?
- Continuation criteria – What conditions and situations are persuaded in the testing process so that the process is carried on effectively.
- Exit criteria – Introduces the problems regarding the completion of the test.
Test configurations and environments
This part of the test plan specifies what software, hardware, networks, lab space etcetera would be required for performing the testing.
Test system development
In this section, how the team will create all of the objects and the relevant test objects is specified such as test cases, test suites, test procedures, test tools, automated test scripts, and so on.
It includes the significant factors that could affect the test execution. Some of them are depicted below.
- Key participants – The key participants and their tasks in the test efforts are determined.
- Test case and bug tracking – It controls the system that handles and tracks the test cases and bugs.
- Bug isolation and classification – This explains the degree at which the tester aims to isolate bugs and categorise the bug report.
- Test release management – It is a kind of interface that bridges the whole project and the testing conducted over the various new arrivals such as new component, builds and revisions.
- Test cycles – A test cycle could be defined as the execution of one or all of the test suites planned for that test phase as one of its parts.
- Test hours – This is the total amount of specific hours and shifts required to complete a particular task.
Risk and contingencies
It involves the potential and likely events which could cause a hurdle for a test plan to carry out or hamper its performance.
This section of the document stores the details regarding the changes and revisions that took place in the test plan itself. For achieving this a number can be allotted to the revisions where the information regarding the author (who have made changes), the information that has changed and it was released are stored.
The other documents related to the test plan are listed inside this document. The documents listed under this document are requirement and design specifications, test suites, quality-risk analysis documents and some other document too. By this document, the repetition can be eliminated.
This section is mainly included for the novice test engineers and technicians where they can find the various frequently asked questions concerning the escalation process.
Definition of Test Strategy
The test strategy and test approach are quite similar terms which is a “long term” plan of activities. Here long term signifies that it includes the documentation of an absolute test approach to the projects. There is other information also exists which has nothing to do with the project.
In more simpler terms, it is an exercise associated with defining the test phases, which an IT management must include when employing a structured approach to the testing software. So, this strategy interprets what should be done, and testing tactics elucidates how the strategy could be implemented. This strategy should discuss the associated risks and introduce a process to eliminate or decrease those risks.
The two important factors regarding the Test strategy are
- Test factor – In this, the strategy chooses the factors affecting the testing of the particular application system.
- Test Phase – In this phase, the testing is conducted.
Documenting a test strategy
The various points included while documenting the Test strategy are project initiation, release planning, each iteration, system tests, and release of the production.
- Project Initiation – Interprets the project.
- Release planning – This step involves participation in the sizing stories and the creation of the test plans.
- Each iteration – It involves the tasks such as contributing in the sprint planning, estimating the tasks and writing and executing the story tests, pairing tests with the other testers, automation of the new functional test cases, run and automate the regression test cases, executing the project load tests demo to the stakeholders.
- System tests – The various operations performed in this phase is releasing management tests and mock deploy on staging, smoke test on stagging, perform load test (if needed)/complete regression test and participate in release readiness.
- Release of the production – Participates in release to production and retrospectives.
Scheduling the resource requirements is the procedure of examining the necessary components for completing the testing strategy. So, anything that can be used for testing over the course of the project must be taken into considerations. Such as people, equipment, software, office and lab space, outsource companies and miscellaneous supplies.
Factors that could affect the Test Strategy
- Risk of failure of the project
- Skills and experience of the involved people in the proposed techniques
- Objective or mission of the testing team
- Regulatory aspects for the development process
- Nature of the product and business
Key Differences Between Test Plan and Test Strategy
- The test plan is the documentation that identifies the scope and method, resource and sequence of the activities in a testing process. On the other hand, the test strategy explains what testing levels should be constructed for completing a test regarding a project.
- The test plan can undergo changes, but the contents of the test strategy are unchangeable.
- A test manager is responsible for doing the test planning while a project manager is the one who’s work is to design the test strategies.
- The test strategy is not project-specific while a test plan is project-specific and the test plan does not require the previous knowledge about the other project plan, but the strategy requires the entire information about the previously implemented strategies.
- A test plan describes the common specifications, whereas a test strategy involves approaches.
- A test plan is individually considered. Conversely, test strategy can be a part of the test plan.
The major difference between the test plan and test strategy is that the test plan is just a guideline for conducting a test. However, a test strategy involves the implementation part and approach behind it.