Test Strategy & Test Planning

These are often referred documents which is a bible in any given Testing assignments —

There is always a conflict of description in detailing either of them…Few descriptions say Test Strategy is a Master Test Plan, and few say Test Plan is much more detailed. Finally you are left to take a decision from your end..

Let me take an analogy to describe the same –

Scenario: Required to collect data of list of grocery stores on the way when I travel from point A to Point B

  • In this case as we understand I need to count the number of grocery stores while travelling from Point A to Point B
    • Challenges/Questions:
      • I am not sure which path should I take in achieving the same since there are various paths by which I can reach point B
      • Can I count the same store if they are in 2 different locations in the same path
      • Can I consider a Store which has the provision of grocery as well to be counted
      • What is my transport between the points

 Solution: We need to now decide on certain conditions which are agreed upon based on which the solution can be worked upon

  • Choose an optimal path in terms of distance with respect to time and ensure max coverage though the chosen path. Consider them, since the intent here is to ensure how many physical stores are there irrespective of the branches of a same store (Eg: A chain store @ 2 ends of a road..)
  • The intent of the counter is to let know the availability of groceries in a given path, hence the stores which also stores groceries along with other storage is considered..(Eg: Big Bazaar)
  • Moderate distance is perceived hence it would be on a Car or a Van

What have we done now, we have evaluated a situation and strategized an approach to ensure the right results are produced as agreed. This is what is referred as Strategy.

  • How are we going to achieve the above strategy with the desired results
    • Carry out a pre-analysis of the path to travel
    • Select a potential Car or a Van through a Transport service and ensure a good driver is provided
    • Ensure the right counter is selected which has a reset option
    • Detail what are the pre-requirements(Entry) to start and how do I confirm closure(Exit)
    • Finalize the # of terms the validation would be carried before finalizing the final results are published………This is what is referred as a Plan

In a Nut shell, Strategy is defined as a methodology to achieve the desired results and a Plan is defined as the way it should be carried to meet the strategy defined to yield the desired results.

 Now with these details lets’ try to define the Test Strategy and a Test Plan

Test Strategy:

A Test Strategy document details the high level approach that needs to be carried to ensure that the testing efforts  yields max results(defects) for a given set of requirements

  • This would generally touch pace upon the various types of testing that needs to be exercised
  • How each of these testing types would be carried at a high level
    • Eg: An End to End Testing with an Interface Testing(SOA, Data Exchange..)
    • Defect Management – How should a defect be reported and the entire cycle of defect  ownership
    • Change Management: Detail how a Change in the requirement would be handled as a strategy not in detail

Test Plan:

A Test Plan document details the functioning of a Test Strategy in detail. This document provides info on the overall step by step approach in the entire engagement of testing under each sections. Ensures that every agreement, exceptions, scope of the requirements etc to be tested is taken care..

Note: I would enclose a sample Test Strategy and Test Plan for reference.