Test Plan vs Test Case | Top Key Differences

May 10, 2024Kiruthika Devaraj
Test Plan vs. Test Case Top Key Differences

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We’re thrilled to share valuable insights regarding “A Test Plan vs A Test Case”! 

Although both are key aspects of the testing process, they serve different purposes. 

In this blog post, you will clearly understand these concepts, their differences, and their significance in ensuring effective testing and high-quality software delivery.

Test Plan vs Test Case

What is a Test Plan?

A test plan provides a broad strategy and approach for testing a software system or application, including objectives, scope, resources, and timelines. The test plan will include details such as the type and number of tests that need to be conducted, the purpose of each test, the required tools, and how test results will be analyzed and reported. It is regularly updated throughout the testing process to reflect any discoveries or changes in strategy.

What is a Test Case? 

A test case is a set of detailed instructions or steps necessary to verify the software’s specific functionality or behavior. It is a detailed description of a test’s inputs, operating conditions, and expected outputs. These test cases

  • Find software errors, bugs, or problems that developers can fix.
  • They help ensure the quality and reliability of the software by providing a systematic approach to testing.
  • It is necessary to ensure that each test case is clear and concise, referencing the relevant requirements or features of the software.
  • Proper documentation and management of all test cases are necessary for successful testing and quality product delivery.

Test Plan vs. Test Case: Key Differences

Test PlanTest Case
A high-level document outlining a project’s overall testing approach and strategy.Detailed step-by-step instructions to execute a specific test scenario.
It overviews testing activities’ scope, objectives, resources, and timelines.Focuses on a specific functionality or feature to be tested.
It includes information about test environments, test data, and test deliverables.It contains particular inputs, expected outputs, and preconditions for the test scenario.
Describes the types of testing to be performed (e.g., functional, performance, security).Specifies the exact steps to be followed during the execution of the test case.
A test plan identifies risks and mitigation strategies related to testing activities. A Test case captures actual results obtained during the execution of the test case.

Test Plan vs. Test Case: Role in Test Automation

Test Plan in Test AutomationTest Case in Test Automation
Provides an overall strategy and approach for testing a specific software application or system. Specifies the steps, inputs, and expected outputs for testing a particular feature or functionality of the software application or system.
Outlines the scope, objectives, resources, and timelines for testing activities. Focuses on a specific test scenario or condition to be validated during testing. 
Helps in identifying the test environment setup requirements and test data needs.It contains detailed instructions to execute a particular test scenario through automation tools.
Guides the testers in understanding the overall testing goals and priorities. Assists in documenting and tracking the results obtained during testing against the expected results.
Typically created at a higher level of abstraction, covering multiple test cases or scenarios.Built at a lower level of abstraction, addressing individual test scenarios within the larger test plan framework.

Here is a guide with in-depth discussions on the different characteristics of test automation.

Check out the guide

Test Automation with Testsigma

Testsigma provides an intuitive interface for creating and executing automated tests based on predefined steps or actions. Testsigma allows easy management and organization of test cases via test plans, making it efficient to track progress and identify issues during execution. Let’s take a look at how they work in conjunction with the test automation:

1. Test Plan: A test plan is a high-level document that outlines the overall testing approach for a specific project or release. It defines the objectives, scope, resources, and schedule of testing activities. In Testsigma, you can create a test plan, that will include the test suites, test cases to be executed, and the schedules for test execution.

This is how the Test Plan looks in Testsigma

Test plan

2. Test Case: On the other hand, a test case is a detailed set of instructions or steps that must be executed to verify an application’s specific functionality or behavior. In Testsigma, you can create individual test cases that cover different scenarios and conditions for testing.

This is how Test Case looks in Testsigma

Create Test case

3. Relationship: Test cases are derived from the test plan and are based on the specific requirements outlined in it. The test plan provides an overall framework for testing, while each test case represents a specific scenario.

4. Execution: In Testsigma, you can execute your defined test cases through automated scripts created using their intuitive interface. Automatic execution allows for faster and more efficient testing by reducing manual effort.

5. Reporting: Testsigma provides detailed reports on individual test case executions and overall progress against the defined test plan. These reports help track defects, identify areas of improvement, and ensure comprehensive coverage of testing activities.

Automate your test plans and test cases for web, mobile, desktop applications and APIs, 5x faster, with Testsigma

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In conclusion, while test plans and test cases are essential components of the software testing process, they serve different purposes. Understanding these key differences is necessary for effective test planning and execution to ensure complete and efficient software testing.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you write a test case and test plan?

Writing a test case and test plan involves documenting the steps, expected results, and test objectives to ensure thorough testing.

Should a test plan include test cases?

Yes, a test plan should include test cases as they provide detailed instructions for executing tests and verifying system functionality.


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