Of course, software testing is a time consuming process , but it is an essential task. However, as software becomes more complicated, it has become difficult for the testers perform testing over such applications, and automated software testing is intended to eliminate that overhead from the testers!
If we talk about test automation, you all might be knowing that all the test automation projects are totally different than that of the manual testing. If you know this, then you should be aware that appropriate planning plays a crucial role when performing automated software testing. A mist-planned project results in failure and may affect the project as well as raise question on the capabilities of the individuals.
Conventionally the task of performing automated testing from planning through execution to reporting results have been a lengthy and tedious task to achieve. However, one should understand the importance of test plan whenever performing automated testing as the success or failure of their project depends heavily on the way you plan to test.
Okay, but what is test plan and why it is so important?
Test plan, also known as test protocol, is nothing but a formal document that generally outline requirements, activities, resources, documentation and schedules to be completed during the test automation process. It helps testers to understand the entire workflow that is going to take place in a detailed and systematic manner.
There are many reasons why test plan is so important. One of the main reasons for creating test plan is because it is a guide for testers on a project they’re working. It encompasses the strategy that is going to be used to make sure that the product fulfills its design specifications and other requirements. Apart from this, it helps testers to achieve following things:
- Details of the things they’re supposed to test
- Things they should avoid testing
- Assign the role of individual tester
- Decide the exact time when a specific test will be performed
- Helps testers to achieve 100% correct code
- Provides a procedure for Unit and System testing
- Helps you identify the documentation process for Unit and System Testing
- Helps you identify the test methods for Unit and System Testing
Apart from all these, it helps testers to define only the test points during the testing phase.It serves as a valuable record of what testing was done on the project. Moreover, the entire test plan can be reused if regression testing has to be done later on. You can find a wide range of templates of a test plan, but if you wish to create test plan on your own, then ensure that you consider a few simple tips discussed below:
- Mention what should be tested and what should not be tested.
- Incorporate what you’re going to test
- How you’re going to perform the test? Incorporate testing strategy in your plan.
- Streamline the entire testing process, such as testing preparation, testing, test result analysis and so on to help others know what you’re going to test
- Prepare a criteria in order to start testing, which involves test platform readness, completeness of the desired functionality development, availability of the required documents and so on
- Define the criteria for ending of the testing process
- Don’t forget to include review and approval, which will help you increase the value of your test plan. You can include different participants like lead tester, test manager, head of development, project manager and so on.
Apart from all these, don’t forget that an ideal test plan includes test plan identification, brief introduction, items to be tested, features to be tested, features that are not going to be tested, approach of testing, acceptance criteria, suspension criteria, test deliverable, testing tasks, environmental requirements, responsibilities, manpower and training required, schedule of testing, risks and approval responsibility. So, try to incorporate all the things discussed here to create an “IDEAL” test plan for your test automation process.
In this article, we tried to cover almost everything related to the test plan starting from the importance of test plan, its benefits and some basic tips that will help testers create test plans at their own. Do you’ve more things to share? Share your views in the comments…!
Prashant Chambakara loves to share insights, views and information on software testing and its associated branches like automation testing, test automation tools, etc. He is currently working with Cygnet Infotech – a leading software testing service provider and the parent company of TestingWhiz. Connect with Prashant on Twitter @PChambakara.