Chapter 8. Step 2: Developing the Test Plan

The scope of the effort to determine whether software is ready to be placed into production should be defined in a test plan. To expend the resources for testing without a plan will almost certainly lead to waste and the inability to evaluate the status of corrections prior to installation. The test planning effort should follow the normal test planning process, although the content will vary because it will involve not only in-house developed software but also vendor-developed software and software embedded into computer chips.


The test plan describes how testing will be accomplished. Its creation is essential to effective testing and should take about one-third of the total testing effort. If you develop the plan carefully, test execution, analysis, and reporting will flow smoothly.

Consider the test plan as an evolving document. As the developmental effort changes in scope, the test plan must change accordingly. It is important to keep the test plan current and to follow it, for it is the execution of the test plan that management must rely on to ensure that testing is effective; and it is from this plan that testers will ascertain the status of the test effort and base opinions on its results.

This chapter contains a standard that defines what to include in the test plan. The procedures described here are amplified with work papers and checklists detailing how to develop the planning material. The organizing test described in ...

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