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How to create a Test Strategy Document?
Before learning about Test Strategy Document, you must understand Test Plan. A test plan is a document containing the scope, methods, and objectives of software testing. Since many companies deal with multiple projects, the project team needs to prepare a goal-centric test plan considering the specific requirements of each project.
Regardless of the nature of the project (support or development), proper planning remains the significant stepping stone for any testing process. Apart from a brief introduction to the project, the test plan also contains methods and types of testing that testers should execute during the testing.
The Test strategy is a document consisting of details about test design's principles and regulations. The test strategy document is a guiding document for project teams explaining how they should conduct a test plan. It helps the testing team to plan the different phases of testing. It features a brief introduction about the testing requirements and methods needed to befitting the project or requirements.
Test Strategy vs. Test Plan
If you are new to testing, it's not uncommon to confuse with test plan and test strategy. The test planning document comprises both strategies along with the project plan. In short, the strategy document is a sub-item of a test plan.
The test plan includes the project scope and tests focus. Generally, it contains the complete test coverage mentioning which features to test and which should be left untested. It also defines the estimation, resource management, and scheduling of the test.
Meanwhile, test strategy includes the test approach that needed to be followed to achieve the objectives of the test plan. It's up to the company standards whether they want to prepare a separate test targeted document or combine both the documents in one.
To summarize, a test plan is a vision, which test strategy defines the action required for achieving that vision.
Critical components of a test strategy document
- Scope and objectives of the test
- Industry standards to follow by the testing and development team
- Key issues to address
- Roles and responsibility of each team member associated with testing
- Status reporting details and schedule
- Testing tools to use
- Test deliverables
- Tracking issues and reporting them to concerned authorities
- Configuration and change management
Preparing the best test strategy document
We have broken down the test strategy procedure into seven simple steps.
Step 1 − Scope This is the fundamental step of the test strategy that shapes up the company's vision. In this step, testers assign different phases for each project, considering the timeline specified in the test plan. Then roles and responsibilities are divided among the team, such as who should review or approve or use the document.
Step 2 − Approach
In this step, testers define testing processes, including levels of testing, roles, and responsibility of each team member. An extensive range of thoughts goes through while preparing this step as it can help developers avoid a further mess if something unfortunate happens.
Defining test types such as Unit, system, Integration, Usability, Load testing, performance testing, security testing, regression, etc. It also describes why these test types are necessary. Along with that, mention:
- Test timings
- Test owners
- Testing approach
- Automation strategy and tools
We recommend using a visual presentation as it appears more captivating. It also helps stakeholders from non-technical backgrounds to understand better.
Step 3 − Environment
The test environment stage includes all the information regarding test data. It contains the requirements necessary for creating test data and the setup process for creating different environments. On top of that, it should also feature the backup and restore strategy to handle untimely code issues.
The test environment must define the number of environments required for the test and detail the setup process. For example, developers can allot one test environment to the functional test team and another to the UAT team.
It must also contain information about the number of users require for each environment. Plus, it must specify the roles of each user for their respective domain. The testing team must also include software and hardware requirements such as OS, memory, disk space, systems, etc., required to run each test case.
Testers must also remain open to the fact that the environment might run into some problems. Therefore, it's crucial to evaluate the errors beforehand, mention them in the document, and plan how to address the issues.
The backup and restore information must contain −
- Which data to backup or restore
- Who will conduct the process?
- What data masking procedures to follow
In this step, you need to mention all the types of tools required for the test execution. It includes the usage of open source, commercial, automation, and management tools as well.
Further mention the approach and tools needed for conducting performance, load, and security testing.Step 5 − Release Control
Creating a well-thought release management plan is crucial for successful test execution. While planning, kindly explains when and where to release a new build. Further, mention the resources from where one can get a production build. Mention the name of the member handling the whole process. Also, note what signal to use for stopping the production release in case of issues.Step 6 − Risk Analysis Creating a risk analysis requires the expertise of a highly experienced testing team. It involves procedures such as predicting all possible risks and preparing a contingency plan to handle them successfully. If any risk goes unnoticed, it can create significant issues in the upcoming test process.
Step 7 − Review and Approval Once the test strategy document is ready, it must be reviewed and approved by concerned parties such as managers, technical team leaders, business development team, and software development teams. No test strategy document is perfect unless it is put to the test in the real environment. Testers may come up with new ideas during the testing itself. In such cases, they can update the document and inform the changes to their supervisor.
Test strategy is a mirror to the QA activities in the testing life cycle. Testers need to refer to the document carefully while following the testing process, and when it approaches the release date, they can cut down some testing activities. However, the tester must discuss this with their team before skipping any specific tasks.
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