Software testing and hunting for errors in your code is difficult even on a good day. Testing your software without a clear test plan can make the QA process more complex than it needs to be. This is why it’s good practice to start your software testing process by writing a clear test plan beforehand.
The purpose of a test plan is to help you as testers better understand the product they are working with and how to approach its testing. This will help you manage potential bugs and issues more precisely, assign QA tasks better, and ensure that the final product is of top quality. Let’s tackle how and why a test plan can help your software testing activities during software development.
Reasons to Write a Software Testing Plan
There is a multitude of advantages to testing software with a test plan in hand rather than doing it ad hoc. For one, you might want to outsource testing to a third party who doesn’t have insight into your software as much as you do.
Or, you may want to hire writer help to do a grammar check on your UI from the perspective of someone else’s writing skills. While at it, you may think, “I also need someone to write my paper for PR or elevator pitch meetings” and ask for writing help. Outlining how the test should be conducted, under which conditions, and how the extrapolated data should look is very useful for seamless software updates. The practical reasons to write a test plan for software testing consist of the following points:
- Clearly outline your testing standards
- Save time by noting what to test and not test
- Record keeping and data indexing for future development
- Software test plans are reusable when used internally
Writing a Test Plan for Software Testing
Describe the Target Product of the Software Test
The first step in writing a solid test plan for your software testing needs is to outline exactly what is being tested. Are you testing an entirely new software solution or a new feature in an existing product? Talk to the software developers in charge of initial programming and describe the software as best as possible. Write a walkthrough or a guide on how to properly use the software to give testers an idea of what should and shouldn’t happen.
Outline the Testing Standards to be Followed
How do you want your software to be tested, and under which conditions? Depending on what type of app you’ve developed, you may want to set testing standards yourself to streamline the testing workflow. For example, you may only want testers to test the software under Windows or Linux, or on a certain tablet or smartphone device. Which software features are customers most likely to use and under which circumstances? Provide your testers with these data points to make the test plan more complete.
Define your Pass/Fail Goals
How do you define a functional and a non-functional software program? Running tests on your software repeatedly for several days or weeks will yield various results depending on the testing standards used. The pass/fail goals you outline will determine how good the current build is compared to where you want it to be before launch. The metrics typically associated with software testing are:
- Software response time
- Loading time
- Memory utilisation
- Request per second
Track the Software Test Progress and Adjust it Accordingly
Once the test plan is implemented, and software testing is underway, you will want to track it closely. There might be additional changes or adjustments needed for the testing to provide you with tangible data. Adopt a cyclical software testing environment (SDLC), with test planning, test execution, and test reporting as main activities. Stay in constant touch with developers and testers to be in the loop on their findings and suggestions on how to proceed.
Getting Started with Software Testing (Conclusion)
Software testing is an important element of software development that should be treated with care and planning. Writing a test plan can significantly streamline your testing’s findings and allow your developers to iron out bugs and improve performance before the software launches. Take a cautious, step-by-step approach to testing rather than doing it sporadically, and the final product will be that much better for it.
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