Documentation plays a critical role in software testing.
Having your project documentation done correctly is the key to success. Any step in the process should be recorded properly, especially when it comes to a test plan, which involves more than a few components and detailed procedures.
What Is a Test Plan?
A software test plan is guidance prepared at the project level that defines what should be tested, how it has to be distributed among testers, and what tools must be involved. It is the first thing a QA company does when it gets down to work. In other words, it is a way to manage the project.
Benefits of Using a Test Plan
A test plan helps to systematize and keep track of all tests that are going to be performed after coding. It ensures the requirements (functional and design) are implemented as defined and documented.
In a nutshell, a test plan contains all information about any testing activities that have to be done to achieve quality. Usually, this type of document is prepared by a Test Manager or a Test Lead and answers three main questions. What to test/ not to test? How to test? And who will perform tests?
There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to writing a test plan. Some people consider it to be a huge theoretical document that requires a lot of time while others consider a test plan cannot be performed without having a certain level of qualification. In practice, everything is quite simple, even with a comprehensive plan.
So, let’s have a look at how a professional software testing company should work on a test plan.
How to Write a Test Plan?
The main rule of a successful test plan is keeping it short and simple. As we have already mentioned, it is written by a Test Lead or Test Manager. Depending on how easy it is to understand a test plan, testers are going to prepare test scenarios and test cases.
9 Core Components of an Effective Test Plan
The list of components in a test plan may differ from one web app testing project to another. Everything depends on the company. Though, the core is always the same. Here is the list of the most common steps in a test plan writing process.
- Product analysis. Analyse a product before testing it. What are the main functionalities? Look at the product from the user’s point of view.
- Scope of testing. What should be tested and what should not be tested? Identify all of the elements and features that are going to be tested. What are those specific features for a team to pay attention to first?
- Approach. Have a clear vision of the strategy of a testing process. How are you planning to perform testing (methodologies, test techniques, etc.)?
- Test team. The success of a team depends on good communication. Make sure every employee understands his/her duties in a project.
- Tools. Outline the specific testing tools required for a task. For example, Selenium, Ranorex, JIRA, QTP, etc.
- Environment for test execution. Add information about an environment for a test execution – platforms supported, sizing required, hardware and configuration needed, etc.
- Schedule (dates and responsibilities). Define the important dates in a testing process – estimated effort, deadline, progress, and tasks.
- Test deliverables. They include all the documents and tools that should be developed in a testing process (before, during, and after it). For example, test plan documents, design specifications, test scripts, error logs, defect reports, etc.
- Risks and contingencies. What are the high risks of a test plan? How to prevent or at least mitigate them?
A test plan is a dynamic document, which means it always has to be updated with the most relevant information.
You cannot achieve quality testing results without having a test plan prepared in advance. It serves not only for defining roles and providing a schedule for activities but also for determining the time and cost required for a particular software project. Do not miss this step, even if you understand how lengthy and challenging the process of writing a test plan can be. In case you need help with writing a test plan or need a professional in your team who knows how to build and maintain it properly, consider applying to a software testing company to assign the best candidate possible for the position. Applying to an outsourcing software testing service is always a good idea in terms of quality and budget.