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Test Process Advanced (ITPA)

Steen Lerche-Jensen

3.1 Test Planning Process

This process is used to create the Test Plan(s), and as we already know, the Test Plan can be for a Project, a Test Plan for a certain test levels (see the V-model drawing) or Test Plan for a specific type of testing, like Performance or usability test plans.
Building a Test Plan is an iterative process, and the content becomes available through performing the below activities. Some of the activities might need to be re-visited some time before you can make a final version of your Test Plan.
Develop, agree, record and communicate the scope and approach for the testing. In addition, to make it possible to identify resource, environment and other requirement of testing.

Inputs to activities in this process may include:

  • Organizational Test Policy
  • Organizational Test Strategy
  • Regulatory Standards
  • Projects Test Plan (the main Test Plan, if test are done in phases or specific test types)
  • Incident reports
  • Project Management plan
  • Product Documentations (Requirement, Processes (PDD), System Documentation etc.)
  • Software Development Plan
  • Risk documentation for the product and the project
  • Test Plan Updates

Expected outcome of Test Planning Process implementation:

  1. The scope of work of the test project is analysed and understood
  2. The stakeholders who will participate in the test planning are identified and informed
  3. Risks that can be treated by testing are identified, analysed and classified with an agreed level of risk exposure
  4. Test strategy, test environment, test tool and test data needs are identified
  5. Staffing and training needs are identified
  6. Each activity is scheduled
  7. Estimates are calculated and evidence to justify the estimates is recorded
  8. The Test Plan is agreed to and distributed to all stakeholders
  9. Information items to be produced:
    1. Test Plan

3.1.1 Graphic overview of the Test Planning Process:

Figure: Test Planning ProcessImportant to understand that in practice some of the activities are carried out iteratively. This means that you might have to revisit some of the activities multiple times

The Test Manager or the person(s) responsible for test planning shall implement the following activities and tasks in accordance with applicable organization policies and procedures with respect to the Test Planning Process

Activity Tasks


Understand Context

  1. Understanding of the context and the software testing requirements shall be obtained to support the preparation of the Test Plan
  2. An understanding of the context and the software testing requirements should be obtained by identifying and interacting with the relevant stakeholders
  3. A communication plan should be initiated and lines of communication recorded


Organize Test Plan Development

  1. Based on the testing requirements identified in the Understand Context activity (TP1), those activities that need to be performed to complete test planning, shall be identified and scheduled
  2. The stakeholders required to participate in these activities should be identified
  3. Approval of the activities, schedule and participants shall be obtained from the relevant stakeholders
  4. Stakeholder involvement should be organized


Identify & Analyse Risks

  1. Any risks that have been previously identified shall be reviewed to identify those that relate to and/or can be treated by software testing
  2. Additional risks that relate to and/or can be treated by software testing shall be identified
  3. The risks shall be classified using an appropriate classification scheme that, at a minimum, discriminates between project and product risks
  4. Each risk shall be assigned a level of exposure (such as by considering its impact and likelihood)
  5. Approval shall be obtained for the results of this risk assessment from the stakeholders
  6. The results of this risk assessment shall be recorded


Identify Risk Mitigation Approaches

  1. Appropriate means of treating the risks shall be identified, based on the risk type, classification and level of risk exposure
  2. The results of the risk mitigation shall be recorded


Design Test Strategy

  1. An initial estimate of the resources required to implement the requirements defined by organizational test specifications, such as the Organizational Test Strategy and the Organizational Test Policy, should be produced. Constraints imposed by higher level test strategies on the project should also be considered
  2. An initial estimate of the resources required to perform the individual mitigation actions identified in the Identify Risk Mitigation Approaches activity (TP4) should be produced, starting with those corresponding to risks with the highest exposure levels as determined in the Identify and Analyse Risks activity (TP3)
  3. A Test Strategy (comprising choices including test phases, test types, features to be tested, test design techniques, test completion criteria, and suspension and resumption criteria) shall be designed that considers test basis, risks, and organizational, project and product constraints
  4. Metrics to be used for Test Monitoring and Control (see activities TMC1 to TMC4) shall be identified
  5. Test data shall be identified
  6. Test environment requirements and test tool requirements shall be identified
  7. Test deliverables shall be identified and their degree of formality and frequency of communication should be recorded
  8. An initial estimate of the required resources to perform the complete set of actions described in the test strategy shall be produced
  9. The test strategy shall be recorded
  10. Approval on the test strategy shall be obtained from the stakeholders


Determine Staffing and Scheduling

  1. The roles and skills of staff to carry out the testing described in the test strategy should be identified
  2. Each required test activity in the Test Strategy shall be scheduled based on the estimates, dependencies and staff availability
  3. Approval on staffing and scheduling shall be obtained from the relevant stakeholders


Record Test Plan

  1. Final estimates for the testing shall be calculated based on the test strategy designed in the Design Test Strategy activity (TP5) and the staffing and scheduling agreed in the Determine Staffing and Scheduling activity (TP6)
  2. The Test Strategy identified in the Design Test Strategy activity (TP5), the staffing profile and schedule agreed in the Determine Staffing and Scheduling activity (TP6), and the final estimates calculated in the previous task shall be incorporated in the test plan


Gain Consensus on Test Plan

  1. The views of the stakeholders on the test plan shall be gathered
  2. Conflicts between the test plan and stakeholders’ views shall be resolved
  3. The test plan shall be updated to take into account feedback from stakeholders
  4. Approval on the test plan shall be obtained from the stakeholders


Communicate Test Plan and make available

  1. The Test Plan shall be made available
  2. The availability of the Test Plan shall be communicated to the stakeholders

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