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Test Planning Outputs – The following are some examples of the outputs from the Test Planning Phase for any project. 


  • Test Strategy
  • Unit / Static Test Plan 
  • Functional / System Test Plan
  • Integration Test Plan 
  • Acceptance Test Plan 
  • Entry and Exit Criteria 
  • Defect Management Processes 

The Test Strategy will define the overall approach with the detailed test plans sitting below in a hierarchical structure. Each detailed test plan should use the same template giving a common feel to the test documentation for the project. 


Test Strategy Content – There are several terms widely used to describe the overall test strategy for a project, generally these will be one of the following: 


  • Test Strategy
  • Test Approach
  • Master Test Plan


Although the terms are different they would be expected to include the following headings:

Introduction - Executive summary of the project


  • Assumptions – Made when defining the approachTest Scope – Test Phase / Features & Functions in and Out of Scope
  • Risks and Issues – Identified when defining the approach
  • Test Organisation – Organisational structure, Roles, Resources, Tools
  • Test Schedule – Significant milestones and test phases
  • Test Deliverables – Planning, Execution, Completion
  • Test Management – Meetings, Metrics, Release & Configuration, Defects
  • Test Environments – Environment Model and Test Data Requirements


Test Plans Content - Not all projects will need separate plans for each phase of testing but all detailed plans should follow the same structure giving a common look and feel to the test documentation. The following is an example set of headings for the

Detailed Test Plan:


  • Introduction – A more detailed summary of the testing included in the plan
  • Scope – Test Phases in scope
  • Detailed Test Activities – Approach, Items / Functions, Acceptance Criteria 
  • Test Management – Environment / Infrastructure, Test Data, Resources
  • General – Metrics, Test Coverage, Progress and Defect templates


Test Management - The following is an overall view of the components that may be needed for the sucessful test management of a project.

Policies Strategies and Goals

Managing the Test Team

Managing across the Organisation

Project Management 

Test Project Evaluation and Reporting 

Project Factors 

 Missions, Policies and Metrics of success

 Building a Test Team

Promoting the Test Team 

PM Tasks 

Tracking Project Information (i.e. design docs) 

Considerations of approach 

 Test Strategies & Plans

Developing the Test Team 

 Physical locations of the Test Team

Identify Risks 

Setup Internal Reporting 

Manage Risks and Isssues 

 Alignment of Test Strategy to Policy

Leading the Test Team 

Stakeholder Comms 

Quality Management 

Setup External Reporting 

Environmental Restrictions 


 Manage external relationships

Create and build relationships 

 Quality Management

Test Results and Reporting 

 Metric Requirements



 Stakeholder Expectations


 Quality Control 

Time / Budget Pressures



Defect Management - Is crucial to closing the loop between requirements, implementation, verification and validation. Effective defect management should contain the following elements: 

Defect Discovery - The identification and reporting of a potential defect. It is important to accurately capture the steps required to reproduce a potential defect, impacts and software / platforms that are affected. Templates can be created and tailored to individual projects thus giving the testers guidance on the information which needs to be captured to allow for effective Triage. This is especially important where teams of testers are in different locations 

Defect Triage - The analysis and prioritisation of new defects. Firstly the defect must be reviewed to ensure that the defect is valid and then a Priority should be set helping the development teams manage their workloads and the project understand what issues exist. 

Defect Resolution - It's here that the development team determine the root cause of the issue, implement any code changes required to fix the defects and document the details of the resolution in the defect management software. Ideally this will include details of any steps required to verify the defect. 

Defect Verification - The development team will merge any code changes into the main build or branch code and release for verification by the test team. Here structured tests are executed against the code to verify both that the issue has been fixed and that there are no regression impacts. 

Defect Reports - Generally this will encompass the generation of structured reporting of the defect numbers, priorities and general progress. This is an important process as a project aims achieve and deliver against it's milestones. 


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