What is Test Plan in Software Testing

Test planning is the first phase of the Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC) that any software testing company would refer to. Regardless of the product or the scope of the program, we will walk you through the steps required to design and execute successful software tests.

Find out what is a test plan in the case of system testing, why certain things must be included, and the steps involved in making your own in this article. If you want your testing teams to be productive and provide results quickly, follow these steps to write a test plan.

1. What is a Test Plan?

What is a Test Plan

A Test Plan is a comprehensive document outlining the tactics, goals, timeline, equipment, technology, estimates, due dates, and manpower that will be used to perform testing for the software products. It’s a guide test managers follow to make sure the particular project passes all the necessary checks.

  • A well-written test plan document adapts to new information and new stages of the project.
  • It’s the hub around which a testing team’s efforts revolve.

Everybody involved in the project, including industry experts, program managers, development teams, and the like, has access to the test plan. All parties involved in the software development process will benefit greatly from this level of openness in the entire testing process.

Test Plan

Executives and team heads in quality assurance (QA) compile the test plan with feedback from QA (and occasionally non-QA) team members. Its creation shouldn’t consume more than a third of the whole project budget.

2. What is the Importance of a Test Plan?

Creating a well-written Test Plan has several advantages.

  • Assist others out beyond the test team, like programmers, development team, business executives, and users, in comprehending the testing process.
  • Test Plan for testing project directs you what should be done. It should be regarded as a set of rules that must be adhered to.
  • Test Plan document has crucial features such as test estimate, test scope, and test strategy so that they may be evaluated by the management team and repurposed on future projects.

3. Components of a Test Plan

Test Plan Components
  • Scope – It specifies testable user cases. The project’s scope may exclude certain cases or problems.
  • Schedule – Specifies when testing will begin and when results are due.
  • Allocation of Resources – It indicates which tester will work on which test plan.
  • Test Environment – It explains in depth the characteristics, capabilities, and limitations of the testing environment.
  • Testing Tools Software testing tools  specify the resources that will be utilized for testing, issue tracking, and similar tasks.
  • Defect Management – It defines who to notify of defects, how to submit them, and what information should accompany each report during the test management process like s images, text records, or clips of code problems.
  • Risk Management – Lists the potential hazards that might arise during software testing, as well as the dangers that the program itself would face if it were deployed without adequate testing.
  • Exit Parameters – It provides information on the mandatory termination of testing. This part details the outcomes that should be achieved through the test procedures, providing a standard against which testers’ actual outcomes may be evaluated.

4. How to Write a Test Plan

How to Write a Test Plan

4.1 Analyze the Product

There’s no way to evaluate a product properly if you don’t know anything about it. It’s impossible to do so. Before putting a product through its paces, you need to become an expert on it.

In order to meet the demands and satisfy the test objectives of your software’s end users, you need to conduct a thorough analysis of them.

  • Who do you anticipate using the product for?
  • Exactly what function does it serve?
  • Can you explain how this  function will work?
  • Which operating system and hardware does this product run on?
Analyze the Product

You need to familiarize yourself with the site and read the product documentation. Becoming familiar with the website’s functionalities and operation is a breeze once you’ve read through the product documentation. Talk to the client, the programmer, or the designer if you need clarification.

4.2 Develop Test Strategy

In software testing, creating a test plan begins with developing a testing approach. The test manager is the one responsible for creating the high-level software testing strategy document, which specifies:

  • Plans for accomplishing the project’s goals.
  • How much time and money must be invested in testing?
Develop Test Strategy

Specifically, the paperwork has to state out:

Testing Scope: Includes both the to-be-tested and non-tested software elements.

Variety of Tests that will be conducted: It gives a detailed planned analysis for the project. This is essential since different kinds of tests like acceptance testing, unit testing and integration testing that reveal different categories of errors.

Problems and Challenges: This outlines the many vulnerabilities that might arise throughout the course of testing and the impact they could have on the final product or the company as a whole.

Test Logistics: Identify the testers (or their expertise) and the tests that they will conduct. The testing methods and timetable are outlined here as well.

4.3 Define the Test Objectives

Define the Test Objectives

To ensure that tests are effective, every test case must be tied to a specific goal. Your software will be more useful to clients if every activity is directed toward that end. Goals for a test could consist of:

  • Verifying predictive models
  • Validating recently added features
  • Carrying out trial-and-error experiments
  • Maintaining consistency across a product’s lifespan

4.4 Set Up Your Test Criteria

Although this is a component of the test case, it is useful to examine it alone. The parameters you use to evaluate candidates are just fine-grained versions of your overall goals. You can keep tabs on your testing status thanks to the detailed facts on how each goal will be attained.

There are some conditions that must be completed before testing can be cancelled under suspension criteria. For instance, if a particular number of flaws have been discovered or if the program is unable to operate owing to performance concerns, testing progress may be put on hold.

Exit criteria are conditions that must be satisfied before the testing phase may end. For instance, after all goals have been accomplished and all issues have been fixed, the test case should terminate.

4.5 Allocating Resources

Provide a resource strategy in your software testing document that describes how many personnel will be needed to complete the testing. Each person’s responsibilities and the necessary education for them to carry out their work successfully should be outlined here.

Allocating Resources

4.6 Prepare a Test Environment Setup

Prepare a Test Environment Setup

You should include the testing environment in your test plans, including details like:

  • Equipment for testing products.
  • Software and server need in terms of size.
  • The product’s compatible operating systems.
  • Details about the surrounding test environments that might have an impact on the testing procedure.

4.7 Schedule & Estimation

Schedule & Estimation

For test assessment, split the project into individual assignments and assign the time and resources required to each.

Then, develop a schedule for completing these duties within the allotted time and with the specified measure of activity.

Nevertheless, the creation of the schedule requires input from various viewpoints:

  • The presence of team members, the total number of hours worked, project due dates, and the regular supply of resources are essential factors to consider.
  • Probabilities considered during the project’s preliminary analysis.

4.8 Test Deliverables

Test Deliverables

A list of all the test deliverables needed for test cases, test data, test environment that  should be included in your testing document. To ensure that everyone is prepared at the right time, these should be connected to the corresponding phases in your timetable.

5. Conclusion

The briefing for a development project isn’t complete without a thorough test plan. Your testing document has to be clear, compact, and adaptable to accommodate last-minute adjustments or new circumstances.

By doing so, you can be certain that everyone on your testing team is moving in the same direction and that no important details will be overlooked.

Itesh Sharma

Itesh Sharma is core member of Sales Department at TatvaSoft. He has got more than 6 years of experience in handling the task related to Customer Management and Project Management. Apart from his profession he also has keen interest in sharing the insight on different methodologies of software development.


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    1. Tanya

      This is a must-read for any software tester who wants to understand the importance of test planning. The article could also be improved by providing more examples of different types of test plans, and by including a template for creating a test plan step-by-step that readers can use. Thank you for this article.

    2. Eric

      This article provides a detailed overview of the test plan. The test plan is the most important factor to consider in the software testing life cycle. However, many beginners neglect it. Every tester needs to implement every aspect of the software testing life cycle.