Software Test Plan for Beginners

Software Test Plan is a document that describes the objectives, scope, approach, and focus of a software testing effort. The process of preparing a test plan is a useful way to think through the efforts needed to validate the acceptability of a software Product. The completed document will help people outside the test group understand the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of product validation. It should be thorough enough to be useful but not so thorough that no one outside the test group will read it.

Software Test Plan

Software Test Plan

The following are some of the items that might be included in a Software test plan, depending on the particular project:

  • Title
  • Identification of software including version/release numbers
  • Revision history of document including authors, dates, approvals
  • Table of Contents
  • Purpose of document, intended audience
  • Objective of testing effort
  • Software product overview
  • Relevant related document list, such as requirements, design documents, other software test plans, etc.
  • Relevant standards or legal requirements
  • Traceability requirements
  • Relevant naming conventions and identifier conventions
  • Overall software project organization and personal/contact-info/responsibilities
  • Test organization and personal/contact-info/responsibilities
  • Assumptions and dependencies
  • Project risk analysis
  • Testing priorities and focus
  • Scope and limitations of testing
  • Test outline – A decomposition of the test approach by test type, feature, functionality, process, system, module, etc. as applicable
  • Outline of data input equivalence Classes, boundary value analysis, error classes
  • Test environment – Hardware, Operating Systems, other required software, data configurations, interfaces to other systems
  • Test environment validity analysis – differences between the test and production systems and their impact on test validity.
  • Test environment setup and configuration issues
  • Software migration processes
  • Software CM processes
  • test data setup requirements
  • Database setup requirements
  • Outline of system-logging/error-logging/other capabilities, and tools such as screen capture software, that will be used to help describe and Report bugs
  • Discussion of any specialized software or hardware tools that will be used by testers to help track the cause or source of bugs
  • Test automation – justification and overview
  • Test tools to be used, including versions, patches, etc.
  • Test script/test code maintenance processes and version control
  • Problem tracking and resolution tools and processes
  • Project test metrics to be used
  • Reporting requirements and testing deliverables
  • Software entrance and exit criteria
  • Initial sanity testing period and criteria
  • Test suspension and restart criteria
  • Personnel allocation
  • Personnel pre-training needs
  • Test site/location
  • Outside test organizations to be utilized and their purpose, responsibilities, deliverables, contact persons, and coordination issues
  • Relevant proprietary, classified, security and licensing issues.
  • Open issues
  • Appendix – glossary, acronyms, etc.

All these are not compulsory in a software test plan, but these are all can contain in a software test plan. What to include and what to exclude is all that depends on the organization and the process they follow.

When can we plan the Tests?


  • Requirements must be base lined.
  • The development plan should be ready and reviewed by the project manager.

How to make Effective Software Test Plan?


  •  Start Early
  • Keep it Flexible
  • Review to it Often
  • Keep it Short and Readable.
  • Calculate the Planning efforts
  • Spend necessary time to complete the Plan

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