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What's a 'test plan'?

Started by sukishan, Aug 13, 2009, 06:08 PM

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sukishan

A software project test plan is a document that describes the objectives, scope, approach, and focus of a software testing effort. The process of preparing a test plan is a useful way to think through the efforts needed to validate the acceptability of a software product. The completed document will help people outside the test group understand the 'why' and 'how' of product validation. It should be thorough enough to be useful but not so thorough that no one outside the test group will read it. The following are some of the items that might be included in a test plan, depending on the particular project:
Title
Identification of software including version/release numbers
Revision history of document including authors, dates, approvals
Table of Contents
Purpose of document, intended audience
Objective of testing effort
Software product overview
Relevant related document list, such as requirements, design documents, other test plans, etc.
Relevant standards or legal requirements
Traceability requirements
Relevant naming conventions and identifier conventions
Overall software project organization and personnel/contact-info/responsibilties
Test organization and personnel/contact-info/responsibilities
Assumptions and dependencies
Project risk analysis
Testing priorities and focus
Scope and limitations of testing
Test outline - a decomposition of the test approach by test type, feature, functionality, process, system, module, etc. as applicable
Outline of data input equivalence classes, boundary value analysis, error classes
Test environment - hardware, operating systems, other required software, data configurations, interfaces to other systems
Test environment validity analysis - differences between the test and production systems and their impact on test validity.
Test environment setup and configuration issues
Software migration processes
Software CM processes
Test data setup requirements
Database setup requirements
Outline of system-logging/error-logging/other capabilities, and tools such as screen capture software, that will be used to help describe and report bugs
Discussion of any specialized software or hardware tools that will be used by testers to help track the cause or source of bugs
Test automation - justification and overview
Test tools to be used, including versions, patches, etc.
Test script/test code maintenance processes and version control
Problem tracking and resolution - tools and processes
Project test metrics to be used
Reporting requirements and testing deliverables
Software entrance and exit criteria
Initial sanity testing period and criteria
Test suspension and restart criteria
Personnel allocation
Personnel pre-training needs
Test site/location
Outside test organizations to be utilized and their purpose, responsibilties, deliverables, contact persons, and coordination issues
Relevant proprietary, classified, security, and licensing issues.
Open issues
Appendix - glossary, acronyms, etc.
(See the Bookstore section's 'Software Testing' and 'Software QA' categories for useful books with more information.)
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