Test Planning and the software Test Plan are key tools in the arsenal of a Test Manager and should be used widely across software testing. They help set the rules of the game and also guide the teams in the right direction in any test endeavor and are the basics of software testing.
Test planning applies for each test level and also includes the methods for monitoring for each. This Is the activity of establishing or updating a test plan which starts at the initiation of the test process and in line with the Test Strategy.
Software Test Plan
The Software Test Plan is a document describing the scope, approach, resources and schedule of intended test activities. As a record of the test planning process, it also covers:
- test items
- features to be tested
- testing tasks
- who will do each task
- degree of tester independence
- test environment
- test design techniques
- Entry and Exit Criteria (with their rationale)
- risk assessment based on requirements
- contingency planning based on risk assessment
- integration of reactive test techniques in execution
During test planning, the Test Manager role is to defines the approach for each software testing level:
- What is tested
- Goals & Objectives
- Test techniques & tools
Effective test plan in software testing
In order to have an effective planning, we need to consider the complex relationships between test phases, but also between development and test. Some examples would be:
- the requirement trace ability matrix
- informal transfer of information.
In other words, the requirement trace ability matrix is a document that maps and traces user requirement with test cases. The main purpose of Requirement Trace ability Matrix is to see that all test cases are covered so that no functionality should miss while doing Software testing.
Another factor for effective planning would be the proper listing of the testing scope with each feature associated with a design specification, environment, etc.
Contact with all stakeholders has to be initiated at this stage, but also all external dependencies identified and service level agreements put in place.
This article is based on the ISTQB Advanced Syllabus version 2012 and it also references the ISTQB Foundation Syllabus version 2018. It uses terminology definitions from the ISTQB Glossary version 3.2.
In late 2019 we have launched A Test Manager’s Guide eBook that stands as the base for this article. You can check out more useful test management lessons by enrolling for free to view Chapter 1 – Back to the basics.