Whether you’re creating a new app or updating a website, a test plan is a vital part of your software testing phase. In fact, creating a test plan should be the first step you take as part of your software testing cycle, and it should be constantly updated as you move further through the different stages of testing.
However, if you’re new to the software testing world, you may not understand what a test plan is or why you need one. Here we explain the basics of test planning to help you better understand its importance:
What is a test plan?
A test plan is a document that details every part of the testing project. Think of it like a roadmap that describes where you’re going, who’s going to take you there, when you’ll get there, and how you’ll get there. A test plan should lay out the objective and scope of your software testing cycle, as well as detail test strategies, schedules, and required resources.
Why should you create a test plan?
A test plan is an essential part of your software testing phase. Skipping it can lead to disastrous results and mistakes. Here are a few things a proper test plan can do for you:
- It’ll keep everyone on the same page, even if they’re not on the test team
- A test plan can help you think through your test strategy in a more efficient and effective manner
- You will be able to document test strategies, estimations, and scopes that can be re-used for later projects
What are the qualities of a good test plan?
You understand what a test plan is and why you need one, but what does a good test plan look like? Test plans can vary depending on the product, but in general you should keep an eye out for these qualities:
- The test plan is constantly updated to reflect recent changes in the product or your company’s goals
- It includes the scope of testing (what is included and what is excluded)
- It describes what should be tested and how much testing time is available to do so
- A test plan should detail which platforms and devices to run the test on
- All bugs should be logged and validated in the test plan
- It should describe which resources were allocated for testing
- The test plan includes writing test cases and creating test data