Writing a test plan document from scratch? Follow these tips

All good quality assurance managers know that if you rush into the QA process, that particular project is likely to run into trouble. Having the best test management software and its respective strategy outlined before testing begins in earnest is essential, especially as software becomes more complex with more lines of code to review. Without a clear outline to follow, QA team members may be unclear on what their responsibilities are, what testing should be prioritized and how the project's success is being defined.

Software Testing Help recently argued that creating a test plan was actually the most critical part of the entire testing process, as it details precisely what the QA team needs to accomplish and how to go about achieving those goals. The prospect of writing an entire test plan document from scratch may at first seem daunting, particularly for larger projects. If QA leaders take a measured approach to this task, however, they'll find that creating an effective and detailed test plan isn't so difficult.

How to define a test plan

The first step to writing a test plan is to recognize what is trying to be accomplished with this document since it will affect software testing lifecycle. According to Software Testing Mentor, the goal of a test plan is to detail the entire scope of the QA process from both a broad and granular level. This means that the test plan should include the QA team's objectives, what software components and user experience concerns will be addressed during the testing process as well as the deadlines they will be facing during each phase of development.

An effective test plan should go beyond that to include details like budget limitations the team will need to account for and project risks that may arise during the QA process. Furthermore, the document should outline which tester and team member will be tackling each task, so there's no confusion or overlap in responsibilities. This will ensure that QA teams are working as efficiently as possible, and that no unnecessary delays occur related to QA test management.

Start with a test plan template

Admittedly, there's a lot of information that needs to be included in a test plan, and team leaders may be unsure about the best method for presenting all of these details to other project stakeholders. There are a number of test plan templates available on the Internet that can streamline the entire process of creating this document. Software Testing Help is just one resource for these types of assets, providing not only a test plan template, but also guidance regarding what information should be included in each section.

Teams can then use test management software to share the test plan with every tester as well as other project stakeholders. With this information in hand, QA managers should have a solid starting point for creating test plan documents that will lay out a firm roadmap to success. Even if they're writing these test plans from scratch, team leaders shouldn't have any trouble giving their testers the information they need to tackle even larger projects. As long as stakeholders take the time to consider the various details that need to be included in a test plan, the process will be relatively painless.

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