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Test Strategy vs Test Plan

Last Updated : 21 Dec, 2023
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behaviorWhat is a Test Strategy?

This is a set of instructions or protocols that explain the test design and determine how the test should be performed. Test strategy is an arrangement for characterizing the testing approach, and it answers questions like what you need to complete and how you will achieve it. It is a most significant record for any QA group in software testing, and viably composing this report is an ability that each analyzer creates with understanding. Test strategy incorporates targets and extensions, documentation designs, test forms, group customer correspondence systems, and so forth. 

Types of Test Strategies:

  1. Analytical strategy: For instance, risk-based testing and requirements-based testing are two types of testing. After examining the test premise, such as risks or requirements, the testing team sets the testing circumstances to be covered.
  2. Model-based strategy: The testing team selects an actual or anticipated circumstance and constructs a model for it, taking into account inputs, outputs, processes, and possible behavior.
  3. Methodical strategy: In this case, test teams adhere to a quality standard (such as ISO25000), checklists, or just a set of test circumstances. Specific types of testing (such as security) and application domains may have standard checklists.
  4. Standards or process-compliant strategy: This method is well-exemplified by medical systems that adhere to US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines. The testers follow the methods or recommendations established by the standards committee or a panel of enterprise specialists to determine test conditions, identify test cases, and assemble the testing team.
  5. Reactive strategy: Only when the real program is released are tests devised and implemented. As a result, testing is based on faults discovered in the real system. Consider the following scenario: you’re conducting exploratory testing.
  6. Consultative strategy: In the same way, that user-directed testing uses input from key stakeholders to set the scope of test conditions, this testing technique does as well.
  7. Regression-averse strategy: In this case, the testing procedures are aimed at lowering the risk of regression for both functional and non-functional product aspects. Using the web application as an example, if the program needs to be tested for regression issues, the testing team can design test automation for both common and unusual use cases.

Test Strategy Document:

A test strategy document is a well-described document that is derived from actual business requirements that guide the whole team about the software testing approach and objectives for each activity in the software testing process. 

  • The test strategy document is approved and reviewed by the test team lead, development manager, quality analyst manager, and product manager.
  • The test strategy document specifies the resources, scope, plan, and methodology for different testing activities.
  • It answers all the questions like what needs to get done, how to accomplish it, etc. 

Uses of Test Strategies:

  • For a good software Development process a good test strategy will need to plan.
  • Test strategies will be the specific approach for the software requirement for the desired output.
  • Test strategies improve the testing method the continue to make them more grateful.
  • The main Use of the Test stategies will be useful for the main purpose which is pre-difine main objectives.

What is a Test Plan?

This a witty gritty archive that depicts the test technique, destinations, timetable, estimation expectations, and assets required for testing. It encourages us to decide on the exertion expected to approve the nature of the application under test. The test plan fills in as a diagram to direct software testing exercises as a characterized procedure that is minutely observed and constrained by the test manager. Test plan incorporates Test plan ID, highlights to be tried, test systems, testing assignments, highlights pass or bomb criteria, test expectations, duties, timetable, and so on. 

Types of Test Plans:

  1. Master Test Plan: In this type of test plan, includes multiple test strategies and has multiple levels of testing. It goes into great depth on the planning and management of testing at the various test levels and thus provides a bird’s eye view of the important decisions made, tactics used, etc. It includes a list of tests that must be executed, test coverage, the connection between various test levels, etc.
  2. Phase Test Plan: In this type of test plan, emphasis is on any one phase of testing. It includes further information on the levels listed in the master testing plan. Information like testing schedules, benchmarks, activities, templates, and other information that is not included in the master test plan is included in the phase test plan.
  3. Specific Test Plan: This type of test plan, is designed for specific types of testing especially non-functional testing for example plans for conducting performance tests or security tests. 

Uses of Test Plans:

The following are some key uses of making a test plan:

  • Quick guide for the testing process: The test plan serves as a quick guide for the testing process as it offers a clear guide for QA engineers to conduct testing activities.
  • Helps to avoid out-of-scope functionalities: The test plan offers detailed aspects such as test scope, test estimation, strategy, etc.
  • Helps to determine the time, cost, and effort: The Test serves as the blueprint to conduct testing activities thus it helps to deduce an estimate of time, cost, and effort for the testing activities.
  • Provide a schedule for testing activities: A test plan is like a rule book that needs to be followed, it thus helps to schedule activities that can be followed by all the team members.
  • Test plan can be reused: The test plan documents important aspects like test estimation, test scope, and test strategy which are reviewed by the Management Team and thus can be reused for other projects.

Objectives of the Test Plan:

  • Overview of testing activities: The test plan provides an overview of the testing activities and where to start and stop the work.
  • Provides timeline: The test plan helps to create the timeline for the testing activities based on the number of hours and the workers needed.
  • Helps to estimate resources: The test plan helps to create an estimate of the number of resources needed to finish the work.
  • Serves as a blueprint: The test plan serves as a blueprint for all the testing activities, it has every detail from beginning to end.
  • Helps to identify solutions: A test plan helps the team members They consider the project’s challenges and identify the solutions.
  • Serves as a rulebook: The test plan serves as a rulebook for following rules when the project is completed phase by phase.

How to Write Test Plan?

Below are the eight steps that can be followed to write a test plan:

1. Analyze the product: This phase focuses on analyzing the product, interviewing clients, designers, and developers, and performing a product walkthrough. This stage focuses on answering the following questions:

  • What is the primary objective of the product?
  • Who will use the product?
  • What are the hardware and software specifications of the product?
  • How does the product work?

2. Design the test strategy: The test strategy document is prepared by the manager and details the following information:

  • Scope of testing which means the components that will be tested and the ones that will be skipped.
  • Type of testing which means different types of tests that will be used in the project.
  • Risks and issues that will list all the possible risks that may occur during testing.
  • Test logistics mentions the names of the testers and the tests that will be run by them.

3. Define test objectives: This phase defines the objectives and expected results of the test execution. Objectives include:

  • A list of software features like functionality, GUI, performance standards, etc.
  • The ideal expected outcome for every aspect of the software that needs testing.

4. Define test criteria: Two main testing criteria determine all the activities in the testing project:

  • Suspension criteria: Suspension criteria define the benchmarks for suspending all the tests.
  • Exit criteria: Exit criteria define the benchmarks that signify the successful completion of the test phase or project. These are expected results and must match before moving to the next stage of development.

5. Resource planning: This phase aims to create a detailed list of all the resources required for project completion. For example, human effort, hardware and software requirements, all infrastructure required, etc. 

6. Plan test environment: This phase is very important as the test environment is where the QAs run their tests. The test environments must be real devices, installed with real browsers and operating systems so that testers can monitor software behavior in real user conditions. 

7. Schedule and Estimation: Break down the project into smaller tasks and allocate time and effort for each task. This helps in efficient time estimation. Create a schedule to complete these tasks in the designated time with a specific amount of effort.

8. Determine test deliverables: Test deliverables refer to the list of documents, tools, and other equipment that must be created, provided, and maintained to support testing activities in the project.

Test Strategy vs. Test Plan:

Test Plan Test Strategy
A test plan can be defined as a document for a software project that defines the approach, scope, and intensity of the effort of software testing. The test strategy is a set of instructions or protocols that explain the test design and determine how the test should be performed.
A test plan can be changed. While the test strategy can’t be changed.
The test plan happens independently. While test strategy is often found as a part of a test plan.
The test plan describes the details. While test strategy describes the general methodologies.
A test plan is done by the test administrator or test manager. While The project manager does it.
A test plan is utilized at the project level. While the test strategy is utilized at the association level.
A test plan has the essential objective of how to test when to test, and who will confirm it. While test strategy has the essential objectives of what approach to pursue and which module to check.
Based on the testing strategies. Based upon pre-defined standards.
Different types of test plans are level-specific, type-specific, and master test plans. Different types of test strategies are model-based, analytical, methodical, reactive, standard-compliant, consultative, and regression-averse strategy.
Only a single project is affected at a time. Multiple projects can be impacted at a time.
It describes the general and common specifications in the testing of a specific object. It describes the approaches in testing.

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