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Test Plan Template - Purpose & How to Use (Download Sample)

Navigate the test planning process effortlessly with a customizable test plan template and learn how to use it to optimize your testing efforts continuously and at scale.
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In the digital age, having efficient software is essential for companies to succeed. To ensure that the software meets the necessary standards is free from bugs, and provides the desired user experience, developing a proper Software Test Plan (STP), is ‘The Key’. In this blog, we share all the details about the Test Plan template. 

What is a Test Plan template?

A Test Plan is a thorough document outlining the software system testing procedures. It provides information on the strategy, objectives, schedule, resources, estimation, and deliverables used in the testing process. The Test Plan ensures that software testing performs all necessary activities appropriately, making it a key element. 

It also serves as a guide for the testing manager to monitor and control the progress of the testing activities. The test lead, manager, and engineer prepare the Test Plan.

Purpose & Importance of Test Plan Template

A test plan template is like a map that helps us know what to do when testing something. It tells us what tests we need to do, how we will do them, and when we will do them. It is important because it helps us stay organized and make sure we test everything we need to. 

Just like we need a map to know where we are going, we need a test plan template to know how to test something properly.

A test plan template serves two main purposes:

1. Guides Testing and Communication:

  • Thinking Through Challenges: Writing a test plan requires considering potential problems and focusing on crucial testing areas.
  • Communication Tool: The plan and the creation process act as a communication channel among testers, developers, managers, and stakeholders. It clarifies:
    • Test Scope & Objectives: What will and won’t be tested, and what the testing aims to achieve.
    • Project Risks & Resources: Potential risks associated with the project and the resources required for testing (people, tools, environments).
    • Testability: How well-suited is the product or system to be thoroughly tested?

2. Manages the Testing Process:

  • Roadmap for Testing: The test plan acts as a roadmap, outlining the testing approach, schedule, and success criteria. This ensures a systematic and efficient testing process.
  • Monitoring Progress: The plan helps track testing progress and identify any deviations or areas needing adjustment.
  • Adapting to Change: As projects evolve and new information arises, the test plan can be revised to reflect these changes and maintain focus.

How To Prepare an Effective Test Plan?

Follow these necessary steps to prepare an effective test plan:

  • First up, you have to define your objectives like a boss. Be clear about what exactly you’re trying to achieve with this testing – is it finding bugs, assessing performance, or verifying functionality? 
  • Next, break down the application into manageable components and determine which areas need testing. 
  • Then, design realistic test scenarios that cover all possible user interactions and edge cases. Remember to prioritize these scenarios based on their criticality to save time during execution.
  • Select the appropriate testing techniques and methodologies that suit your project’s requirements. This will ensure you’re testing efficiently and effectively. 
  • Lastly, create a master schedule including all activities and timelines for each testing phase, from preparation to execution and reporting. 

Following these above-shown steps will give you an ace Test Plan ready to rock the world of software development!

Who Prepares Test Plan Template?

When preparing a Test Plan template, the responsibility usually falls on the software testing team. These professionals specifically focus on ensuring the software or application meets quality standards. 

Test Plan Template

A Test Plan template is like a roadmap for testers to do the testing process: to identify what needs to be tested, how to test it, and when to test it.

The template should also allow room for customization based on project-specific requirements while maintaining clarity and consistency. This template saves time and resources, minimizes errors, and ensures your software meets the highest possible standards.

Test Plan Template Format 

Please find the important components of a test plan in the below image:

Key Elements of a Test Plan Template

A thorough test plan template typically includes various sections to ensure thorough planning and execution of testing activities. Here are the key elements commonly found in a test plan template:

  1. Introduction: Provides an overview of the document, its purpose, scope, objectives, and intended audience.
  2. Document History: Records the version history of the test plan document, including dates of revisions and changes made.
  3. Scope: Defines what will and will not be tested, including the features, functionalities, and components of the software/system under test.
  4. Objectives: States the goals and objectives of the testing effort, such as validating functionality, assessing performance, and ensuring quality standards.
  5. Test Approach: This describes the overall strategy for testing, including the methodologies, techniques, and tools to be used.
  6. Test Environment: Specifies the hardware, software, network configurations, and other resources required for testing, including any dependencies or constraints.
  7. Test Deliverables: This section lists the documents, reports, and artifacts to be produced during the testing process, such as test cases, test scripts, test data, and test reports.
  8. Test Schedule: Outlines the timeline for the testing activities, including milestones, tasks, dependencies, and resource allocations.
  9. Test Risks and Assumptions: This section identifies potential risks to the testing process, such as resource constraints, technical challenges, and dependencies, along with assumptions made during test planning.
  10. Test Execution Criteria: Defines the criteria for starting, suspending, and completing testing activities, including entry and exit criteria for each test phase.
  11. Test Cases: Provides detailed descriptions of individual test cases, including test case identifiers, descriptions, preconditions, steps, expected results, and post-conditions.
  12. Test Data: Specifies the data required to execute the test cases effectively, including input data, expected outputs, and test data generation techniques.
  13. Defect Management: This section describes the process for reporting, tracking, prioritizing, and resolving defects discovered during testing, including defect logging templates and workflows.
  14. Roles and Responsibilities: Clarifies the roles and responsibilities of team members involved in the testing process, including testers, developers, project managers, and stakeholders.
  15. Approvals: Specifies the individuals or groups responsible for approving the test plan, including stakeholders, project sponsors, and quality assurance managers.
  16. Addenda: Includes any additional information, references, or supplementary materials relevant to the test plan.

How to Modify a Test Plan Template for Your Needs?

Modifying a test plan template to suit your needs involves customizing the template according to the requirements and characteristics of your project, organization, or testing process. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to modify a test plan template:

  1. Understand Your Requirements: Before making any modifications, ensure you have a clear understanding of your project requirements, objectives, scope, and constraints. Identify specific testing needs, methodologies, or standards relevant to your project.
  2. Review the Existing Template: Carefully review the sections and elements of the existing test plan template to understand its structure and contents. Determine which sections are relevant and which ones may need modification or customization.
  3. Identify Necessary Modifications: Based on your project requirements and specific needs, identify the sections, elements, or content of the template that require modification, addition, or removal.
    Consider aspects such as testing approach, test environment, deliverables, and schedule.
  4. Customize Section Content: Modify the content of each section according to your project requirements. For example:
    • Update the scope section to reflect the features and functionalities of your software/system under test.
    • Customize the test approach to align with your chosen testing methodologies, such as agile, waterfall, or DevOps.
    • You can adjust the test environment section to include specific hardware, software, configurations, and dependencies relevant to your project.
    • Customize the test schedule to reflect your project timeline, milestones, tasks, and resource allocations.
  5. Add or Remove Sections: Add or remove sections from the template to accommodate your project requirements. For example:
    • Additional sections should be included for specific testing activities or processes, such as security or usability testing.
    • Remove sections that do not apply to your project or testing approach to streamline the document.
  6. Tailor Templates and Tools: If you use templates or tools for test cases, test scripts, or test reports, customize them to align with your modified test plan template. Ensure consistency and coherence across all testing artifacts.
  7. Review and Validate: Once you’ve made the necessary modifications, review the modified test plan template to ensure completeness, accuracy, and alignment with your project requirements. Validate the template with stakeholders, project team members, or quality assurance experts to gather feedback and make any final adjustments.
  8. Document Changes: Document any changes, modifications, or customizations made to the test plan template for future reference and version control. Update the document history or revision log accordingly.

Who should Use this Test Plan Template?

A test plan template is a valuable tool for various roles involved in the software development process, especially those concerned with quality assurance (QA) and testing:

  • Test Lead/Manager: They primarily use the template to create the test plan document, outlining the overall testing strategy. They’ll assign tasks, manage resources, and ensure the plan meets project requirements.
  • Testers use the template to develop specific test cases based on the plan’s objectives and scope. They’ll execute the tests, log results, and report any defects.
  • Developers: While not directly responsible for writing the plan, developers benefit by understanding its contents. It communicates testing goals and helps them identify potential issues early on.
  • Project Managers: The plan offers them insights into the testing effort, resource allocation, and potential risks that could impact project timelines.
  • Other Stakeholders: Clients, product owners, or other stakeholders can use the plan to understand the planned testing approach and gain confidence in the software’s quality.

Overall, anyone involved in ensuring the quality and functionality of the software under test can benefit from a well-defined test plan.

Sample Test Plan Template and How to Automate it with Testsigma?

A test plan is required to ensure any software development project’s success. The Sample Test Plan Template offers a structured framework for outlining testing goals, strategies, and timelines. Below is a sample test plan in real time includes:

1) Introduction: This section overviews the test plan, including its purpose, objectives, and stakeholders. It sets the context for the entire document.

2) Scope: The scope defines the boundaries of the testing effort. It outlines what will be tested and what will not be tested. It helps in managing expectations and ensuring that all necessary areas are covered.

3) Test Strategy: The test strategy outlines the approach and techniques that will be used to achieve the testing objectives. It includes details on test levels, types, and methods to be employed during testing.

4) Test Environment: This section describes the hardware, software, and network configurations required for testing. It ensures that the necessary infrastructure is available to execute tests effectively.

5) Staffing and Training Needs: This part identifies the roles and responsibilities of team members involved in testing. It also highlights any training requirements to ensure testers have the necessary skills to perform their tasks.

6) Test Schedule and Estimation: The test schedule and estimation section outlines the timeline for executing the tests and estimates the resources required for each testing phase.

7) Test Deliverables: Test deliverables include the test plan, test cases, test scripts, test data, and test reports, which are essential for documenting and communicating the testing process and its results.

8) Exit Criteria: This section outlines the conditions that must be met to consider the testing phase complete and move on to the next phase of the software development lifecycle. It may include criteria such as achieving a certain level of test coverage, resolving all critical defects, and obtaining approval from stakeholders.

9) Suspension and Resumption Criteria: This part defines the circumstances under which testing activities may be temporarily halted or resumed. It specifies situations like resource unavailability, critical defects impacting testing progress, or changes in project priorities that may require suspension or resumption of testing.

10) Responsibilities: This section identifies the roles and responsibilities of each team member involved in the software testing process. It clarifies who is responsible for test planning, test case creation, execution, defect tracking, and reporting. Clearly defined responsibilities help ensure accountability and effective coordination among team members.

11) Risk and Contingencies:  It also outlines the potential risks and contingencies that may arise during the software testing process, allowing the team to address and mitigate them proactively.

12) Assumptions: In this section of the software test plan template, we outline any assumptions made during the planning process. These assumptions can include factors such as the availability of resources, the stability of the testing environment, or the cooperation of stakeholders. By documenting these assumptions, we ensure that everyone involved in the testing process knows of potential risks or limitations.

13) Test References: This section lists references used to develop the test plan. It includes any documents, standards, or guidelines consulted during the planning phase. These references serve as a point of contact for testers and stakeholders to understand the basis for creating the test plan. They also help ensure that industry best practices and relevant information are incorporated into the testing process.

14) Review and Approvals: Review and approvals are crucial to ensure that the test plan meets the required quality standards and receives the necessary endorsement from key stakeholders.

Some test automation tools also let you implement your test plans. Below we show how Testsigma, a no code test automation tool lets you do it:

In Testsigma. A sample Test plans page(already created) list would look like this:

Test Plan

Example:

Below is a detailed sample test plan created in Testsigma to test cross-browser. 

cross browser example

Note: In Testsigma, you have options like list, edit, and delete the created Test plans.

In this test plan, you can add test suites, the machines for execution, the schedules for execution and the needed integrations.


Conclusion

Wrap-up time!

So, there you have it – a sample Test Plan template with all the necessary details to ensure your software is tested thoroughly and efficiently. So, what are you waiting for? Give it a try, and let us know how it works! Happy testing!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you write a Test Plan?

What are the different types of Test Plans?