Format of the Test Plan
After selecting a testing strategy, defining a test system and estimating labor costs, it is possible to begin drawing up a test plan. The test plan is a document or some set of documents representing the result of performing certain types of planning activities. This document is not a once and for all established plan, as it changes as the requirements change. Useful recommendations for developing a test plan are included in the IEEE-829 Standard: IEEE Standard for Software Test Documentations. Of course, you may use a different format, but you will need to design all the materials recommended by the above IEEE standard in any suitable format. Today will use the IEEE-829 Standard to build the test plan template.
According to the standard under consideration, the test plan should contain 16 sections:
- Test plan identifier.
- Components to be tested.
- Aspects and features to be tested.
- Aspects and features that should not be tested.
- Criterion of successful and unsuccessful tests.
- ‘Test Suspension Criteria and Test Resumption Requirements’
- Test deliverables.
- Testing tasks.
- Environmental requirements.
- Division of responsibilities.
- Talent acquisition and personnel training.
- Project scheduling.
- Risks and unforeseen circumstances.
- Test plan approval.
If you carefully analyze this list, it will be easy for you to understand what this plan is not – it does not represent a detailed description of how a test run should be performed, nor is the bunch of test results. Some organizations specializing in software testing combine one or more list items with the content of the test plan, thereby organizing all the test documentation in one place. This can give excellent results, but now we are aiming to achieve greater modularity of the set of documents, which coincides with the purpose of the above-mentioned standard.
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The fact that the standard is aimed at dividing the test plans, procedures and results is evident from the definitions of the following documents contained therein.
Test plan. This document describes the capabilities, approach, resources and schedule for various types of test activities. It defines the test objects, the functions to be tested, the test tasks, the performers of each test task, and any of the risks that require contingency planning.