Often managers or QA leads find it a daunting challenge to prepare an effective software testing plan. In addition to preparing the test plan by following an organized approach, they also need to keep in mind test objectives, scope of testing, risk identification, test execution schedule, metrics to assess the project, and constraints related to time and resources. That is why; it becomes essential for the manager to focus on a number of important points to make an effective software testing plan.
7 Tips to Make Your Software Testing Plan more Effective
1) Test the Software Frequently
Many reports have highlighted that an organization can save both time and cost by testing the software application early and frequently. When the bugs in the software are identified in early phases of software development lifecycle, the testers can fix the defects without putting extra time and effort. So you must introduce software testing in the early phases of the project, and ensure that the software is tested repeatedly and frequently.
2) Create Small Functional Modules
You must understand the test coverage clearly to make a better testing plan. So it is important to divide the entire software application to be tested into a number of smaller modules. Each module will cover specific features or functionality of the application. Thus, the small functional modules will help you to understand and track test coverage. However, you must consider dividing the each functional module into small logical parts, and writing test cases for each module based on these small parts.
3) Focus on Test Case Development
It is also important to identify the business requirements that are testable. You can easily identify the testable requirements by getting test cases written during design and requirement phases of software development life cycle. The valid or positive test cases will help you to cover all expected behaviour of the software, whereas the negative test cases will cover its unexpected behaviour. However, you also need to ensure that the test cases are written by experienced programmers, and explain each step clearly.
4) Pick the Right Metrics
The test plan must focus on documenting, tracking, measuring and reviewing the quality objectives during various phases of the project. So you must pick the right metrics to track and assess the quality objectives more effectively. It is always important to pick metrics that are effective but simple to execute. Also, you must pick a variety to metrics to cover all aspects of the project. You can always consider using some of the commonly used metrics like schedules, size, quality, rework and resources.
5) Build a Custom Test Environment
You must create a custom test environment by replicating the production environment exactly. Also, the environment must include the right test automation tools and systems with customized configuration. It is also important to keep the testing and production environments separated, and prevent the developers from accessing the test environment. When the test environment is accesses exclusively by testers, it will be easier to identify and control the missing components.
6) Emphasize on Informative and Precise Bug Reporting
You must remember that the quality of the bug report will have a direct impact on the defect turnaround time. The testers must provide detailed and specific information about the bugs identified during testing to enable developers to fix the defects easily and quickly. They can even reproduce the bugs to reduce the defect turnaround time drastically. Your test plan can even recommend testers to use a predefined bug report template to provide adequate information about the defects.
7) Divide and Allocate the Tasks Properly
Your test plan also needs to focus on allocating the tasks to the right professionals. While allocating tasks, you must keep in mind the test schedule, size of the team, and the skills and expertise of individual testers. You can even consider preparing a skill chart of all members of the testing team, and allocate the tasks based on the skill chart. Also, you need to ensure that each member of the team understand the objective and nature of the task assigned to him clearly.
While making the test plan, the manager must ensure uninterrupted communication between testers and programmers. The communication will result in getting the problems resolved in a quick and efficient way, while avoiding misunderstanding in future. However, the professionals must communicate with each other through emails instead of sticking to verbal communication.