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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Software test plan and templates

Now that previous posts have discussed to some details about the need for the test plan, let's talk a bit about what the test plan covers:

Test plans, also called test protocol, are formal documents that typically outline requirements, activities, resources, documentation and schedules to be completed.

A sample of what a test plan (a template) is available at the following location: The actual word document template is available at this link.

A lot of details about what a test plan covers, including the contents of the test plan, references (documents that support the test plan including project plan, SRS, design documents (HLD, LLD)), issues and risks, features included for testing in the test plan and to be excluded from the test plan, and overall approach are all included in the Wikipedia page. This is a good reference page to read if you want to get a lot of detail about what a test plan should cover.

For a shorter reading of what a test plan should cover, refer to this paragraph below where the test plan is broken down into 3 main sections:
1. Beginning of the plan: This contains background information such as header information, title, author, date, project number/code, project description, references to related documents, an explanation of the test objectives, definition, key words.
2. Middle section of the plan: This section starts to contain some meat about the plan, including a data collection / sampling plan, test environment including setup, resources to be used, assumptions that need to be made, customer specific needs, and how to report test-related problems such as failures.
3. Ending section of the plan: This section typically contains analysis information, statistical techniques, what was the original testing need, a definition for test success or failure, how to conduct data analysis, what to do in case testing results in insufficient information, how to present the final information, references.

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