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Purpose and Content of a Test Plan

April 29 2019 , Written by Harry Published on #TESTER

Purpose and Content of a Test Plan


     A test plan outlines test activities for development and maintenance projects. Planning is influenced by the test policy and test strategy of the organization, the development lifecycles, and methods being used, the scope of testing, objectives, risks, constraints, criticality, testability, and the availability of resources.

     As the project and test planning progress, more information becomes available and more detail can be included in the test plan. Test planning is a continuous activity and is performed throughout the product's lifecycle.

     Note that the product’s lifecycle may extend beyond a project's scope to include the maintenance phase.

    Feedback from test activities should be used to recognize changing risks so that planning can be adjusted. Planning may be documented in a master test plan and in separate test plans for test levels, such as system testing and acceptance testing, or for separate test types, such as usability testing and performance testing.

 Test planning activities may include the following and some of these may be documented in a test plan:

  • Determining the scope, objectives, and risks of testing

  • Defining the overall approach of testing

  • Integrating and coordinating the test activities into the software lifecycle activities

  • Making decisions about what to test, the people and other resources required to perform the various test activities, and how to test activities will be carried out

  • Scheduling of test analysis, design, implementation, execution, and evaluation activities, either on particular dates (e.g., in sequential development) or in the context of each iteration (e.g., an iterative development)

  • Selecting metrics for test monitoring and control

  • Budgeting for the test activities

  • Determining the level of detail and structure for test documentation (e.g., by providing templates or example documents)

The content of test plans vary and can extend beyond the topics identified above.

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