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Dariya Malakhova, Automation and Manual Quality Assurance Engineer

Feb 24, 2023 6 min read

What is a Test Plan and How to Write a Test Plan for Software Testing?

Documentation is typically not an easy task, but it is always crucial. In this article, we will explore the meaning of a test plan, its necessary components, and how it differs from a test strategy.

What is a Test Plan and How to Write a Test Plan for Software Testing

What are Test Plan and Test Strategy for Software Testing

What is Test Plan, Test Strategy, and What Are Their Differences

Test Plan

Test Plan Outline
But why is the software testing plan so important? Teams that use this approach have several advantages over those that ignore the planning step.

Test Strategy in Software Testing


Now we can define the main things that distinguish a test plan and test strategy.

Choosing and Creating a Test Strategy in Software Testing

Testing strategy in software testing is also essential. This section influences the quality of software testing. Developing a test strategy documentconsists of four parts, where risks, problems, and logistics will be faced.

The Best Way to Draft a Test Plan Document

A good plan makes it easier to figure out where the risk areas are, how to schedule testing, and how to use resources most effectively. The test plan becomes a useful document that can be used as a guide at any time during the development of the product. Let’s look at the components of an ideal test strategy. Each component is critical and needs to be implemented at all times.


Scheduling is a broad term that applies to more than just project management. Making a testing schedule that works well and is easy to follow speeds up the process, improves its quality, and keeps costs in check. For correct scheduling, it is required to consider many factors, among them the deadline, working days, and availability of resources.

For this stage, it is necessary to consult with the team to better understand the people with whom you work. Sometimes it is better to define clear boundaries or think of the product's volatility and set more flexible deadlines.

A good schedule should contain answers for each of these questions:

What is the work schedule of the employees and the project’s deadline?

Analyze the Product

The initial aspect of any test plan is product analysis. Of course, software testing is only possible if you know about the product itself. To make it easier to get started, you should answer the following questions:

Who will use this software?

For answers to all these questions, you can read the product documentation. It is also a suitable method to conduct an interview with a developer or with another member of the development team.

Specify the Test's Goals

Your overall goal is to pass the software test process as quickly as possible and perform it productively and efficiently. The purpose of software testing in software engineering is to find all sorts of holes and problems and ensure that the object of testing no longer contains errors. You should do the two procedures listed below to determine the testing targets.

List all the software features which may need to be tested.

Establish Test Criteria

1. Suspension Criteria — as can be inferred from the name, these are criteria that suspend the verification process until the criterion is eliminated.

2. Exit Criteria — this criterion is similar to the previous one and completes the testing process. It requires test score targets that slowly move the project into the next development phase.

Resource Planning

A resource plan is a list of the resource your team will need to complete a project task. Resources come in many types, such as people, equipment, and materials. It helps determine the exact amount of resources to be used.

Test Plan Template

An essential aspect of software testing plans is the selection of the correct template or the use of a template established in the company. If your organization doesn’t have such standards, such samples can be found in industry publications focused on software testing

Test Environment

It is also where the test scripts will be executed. To determine the environment, you should complete all the previous points well and work closely with the development and test teams.

Test Deliverables

We have come to the key moment when you should draw conclusions and show the results. Test deliverables is a test plan document or tool that needs to be finalized and tested again. Some deliverables are produced during and after the test itself.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is a test plan?

A test plan is a detailed document that outlines the scope, approach, resources, and schedule of intended testing activities. It specifies testing objectives, criteria for success, and deliverables.

Why is a test plan important in software testing?

A test plan ensures that there's a structured approach to testing, helps stakeholders understand the scope of testing, and aids in tracking progress and results.

How often should the test plan be updated?

Test plans should be reviewed and updated regularly, especially when there are significant changes in project requirements, scope, or when new information becomes available after initial testing.

What are the main components of a test plan?

Key components often include introduction, test objectives, test scope, features to be tested (and not tested), test approach/strategy, test deliverables, roles & responsibilities, schedule, and exit criteria, among others.

How do I know when my testing is complete?

This is determined by the 'exit criteria' defined in your test plan. It could be based on factors like reaching a certain test coverage, achieving a specific number of passed tests, or not finding high-severity defects for a defined period.

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