Ten Minute Test Plan
Anything in software development that takes ten minutes or less to perform is either trivial or is not worth doing in the first place. If you take this rule of thumb at face value, where do you place test planning? Certainly it takes more than 10 minutes. In my capacity as Test Director at Google I presided over teams that wrote a large number of test plans and every time I asked how long one would take I was told “tomorrow” or “the end of the week” and a few times, early in the day, I was promised one “by the end of the day.” So I’ll establish the task of test planning to be of the hours-to-days duration.
As to whether it is worth doing, well, that is another story entirely. Every time I look at any of the dozens of test plans my teams have written, I see dead test plans. Plans written, reviewed, referred to a few times and then cast aside as the project moves in directions not documented in the plan. This begs the question: if a plan isn’t worth bothering to update, is it worth creating in the first place?
This presentation focuses on James’ work at Google, specifically on test plans, and was recorded in 2011 at a ‘EuroSTAR Meet the Keynotes’ evening in London. James has since made the move to Microsoft in the role of Partner Development Manager.