A test plan is a document describing the scope, approach, objectives, resources, and schedule of a software testing effort. It identifies the items to be tested, items not be tested, who will do the testing, the test approach followed, what will be the pass/fail criteria, training needs for team, the testing schedule etc.
Below is the detail of what information a test plan contains :
1.Test Plan Identifier : Provide unique identifier for the document.
2.Introduction : In this we provide overview of test plan with goals/objectives and with constraints if any.
3.References : List of all the related documents.
4.Test Items : List of test items (software/products) and their versions.
5.Features to be tested : List the features of the software/products to be tested.
6.Features not to be tested : List the features of the software/products not to be tested with reasons.
7.Approach : Discuss the approach to testing, with testing levels, testing types and testing methods.
8.Item Pass/Fail criteria : Specify the criteria that will be used to determine whether each test item (software/product) has passed or failed testing.
9.Suspension Criteria and Resumption Requirements : Specify criteria to be used to suspend the testing activity and Specify testing activities which must be redone when testing is resumed.
10.Test Deliverable : List test deliverable, and links to them if available, including the following:
- Test Plan (this document itself)
- Test Cases
- Test Scripts
- Defect/Enhancement Logs
- Test Reports
11.Test Environment : Specify the properties of test environment.
12.Estimate : Provide summary of test estimates (cost or effort).
13.Schedule : Provide the detailed schedule of the test.
14.Staffing and Training needs : Specify if any staffing or training is needed.
15.Responsibilities : List the responsibilities of each team/role/individual.
16.Risks : Specify all the risks identifies with mitigation plan and contingency plan of each risk.
17.Assumptions and Dependencies : List the assumptions and dependencies that have been made during the preparation of the plan.
18.Approvals : Specify the names and roles of all persons who must approve the plan.
So, when we get these much of information from a test plan then it serves as a guide to testing throughout the development . A test plan is a managerial document that has many levels differing in content and depth. We have test plans to ensure testing stages are performed to the best quality.
So, the importance of having a test plan is throughout the development and if we will have detailed test plan, then no problem will arise.