Before initiating any process or activity, it is always advised by experts to prepare a plan or strategy, which makes the whole process of testing, developing and more, easy as well as convenient. Similarly, during the process of software development or testing, software engineers agree upon a plan, approach or strategy, to accomplish their desired results of software development and testing. In software testing, test plan serves as the blueprint the various testing activities that will be conducted on a software or application by the team of testers. It outlines the planning of test process and contains its guidelines. Therefore, a test plan can include details about the testing approach, testing tasks, environment needs, resource requirements, schedule and various constraints. In short, test plan is a significant part of software testing and they are crucial for deciding innumerable things and elements related to it. Hence, here is a detailed discussion on test plan document and its significance in software testing life cycle.
IEEE standards or technical standards are a compilation of formal documents that establish uniform engineering or critical criteria, methods, process and practices developed through an accredited consensus process. These standards are developed on the guiding principles of openness, balance, consensus and due process. Moreover, IEEE standards are established in order to meet technical, safety, regularity, societal and market needs. These are catalysts for technological innovation and global market competition and are extremely beneficial for the learning engineers, as it provides them the tools for use in learning about standards and their impact on design and development.
Test Plan plays a significant role in the process of software testing. It is a very crucial document that outlines the strategy of how a given project or product will be tested. Test Plan is used by testers as a guidebook for executing the process of testing accurately. In short, test plan is vital if a tester wants to keep the process of software testing on the right track and ensure that the end product performs and functions as per the demands and requirements of the client. Moreover, team of testers follow the IEEE 829 standard of test plan documentations, as there can be a difference of opinion regarding what should be included in a test plan document. Other reasons that make test plan important are mentioned below:
IEEE is an international institution that defines standards and templates that are universally acknowledged and accepted. It has defined standards for system and software test plan documentation, which is globally known as IEEE 829 standard. This standard specifies the format for a set of documents that are required for software and system testing. The IEEE 829 standard specifies the various stages that are in the documentation process, each of which produce a separate document for every testing stage. These stages are very crucial to the documentation process and are used by software engineers in creating a test plan for software testing. Therefore, some of the stages of test plan document are described below:
This list of various stages of test plan document is non exhaustive, as there are several more aspects of software testing that are included in the test plan document.
Apart from being beneficial for testers, test plan document is a really important part of test management process. This plan ensures that all the functional or design requirements are implemented in the document and provides a procedure for unit and system testing. Additionally, with the assistance of test plan, testers can identify the documentation process as well as the method of unit and system testing. However, to enjoy these benefits of test plan, a tester needs to write it properly, while making sure that it contains all the required and necessary information. Therefore, to help testers in preparing a proper test plan, here are the steps to create test plan as per IEEE 892 standards:
A Test Plan is a significant part of SDLC, as it contains detailed information regarding an upcoming testing effort, which further defines details such as, scope of testing, its schedule, risks, contingencies, among other things. This document provides testers numerous advantages and serves as a valuable record of the type of testing executed on the software product. According to IEEE 829 Standard, a test plan includes test plan identifier, introduction, test items, features to be tested, test deliverables, responsibilities, staffing, and more, which allows testers as well as other members of the project to get a clear understanding of the whole testing process. Hence, with the assistance of a test plan, a software engineer can effectively document important aspects of the software testing procedure, which can be later reviewed and reused for other projects.