Test Planning

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Test Planning includes activities that define testing objectives and the process for completing test objectives. Test planning is a vital testing activity, regardless of the project lifecycle approach. However, Test planning is a continuous activity performed throughout the product's lifecycle. Planning the test process starts at the beginning of the Software development project.  

During Test Planning, we make sure that we understand the goals of the customer, stakeholders, and project. We also analyze the risks that testing is intended to address. 

Test Planning work products typically include one or more Test Plans. The Test Plan provides information about the test basis. Planning may be documented in a master Test Plan and separate Test Plans for test levels and types. 

Test levels include Component testing, Integration testing, System Testing, and Acceptance testing. Test Types include functional testing and non-functional testing.

Major Task of Test Planning

As mentioned in ISTQB Syllabus, Test planning activities may include the following, and some of these may be documented in a test plan:

  1. Determining the scope, objectives, and risks of testing
  2. Defining the overall approach to testing
  3. Integrating and coordinating the test activities into the software lifecycle activities
  4. Making decisions about what to test, the people and other resources required to perform the various test activities, and how test activities will be carried out.
  5. Scheduling of test analysis, design, implementation, execution, and evaluation activities, either on particular dates (e.g., in sequential development) or in the context of each iteration (e.g., in iterative development)
  6. Selecting metrics for test monitoring and control
  7. Budgeting for the test activities
  8. Determining the level of detail and structure for test documentation (e.g., by providing templates or example documents)

The content of test plans varies and can extend beyond the list given above. A sample test plan structure and a sample test plan can be found in the ISO standard (ISO/IEC/IEEE 29119-3).

Test planning is one of those critical test activities that benefit from collaboration. While the test leader or manager is typically responsible for creating and finalizing a test plan, there can be many contributors.