How to Write a Test Plan Document from Scratch (Download a Real Plan) – Live Project QA Training Day 3

After introducing you to the live application for our free online software testing training, we saw how to review SRS and write test scenarios.

Now it’s time to dive deeper into the most important part of the software testing live cycle – i.e. Test Planning.

Most Important Phase of Testing – Creating a Test Plan:

In today’s article we are going to see how to write a test plan document. At the end of this tutorial we have shared a 19 pages comprehensive test plan document specifically created for the live project OrangeHRM, which we are using for this free QA training series.

We are halfway into our live project series. Let us now take a step back from the application and take a look at the Software Testing Life cycle (STLC) process.

test plan

STLC can be roughly divided into 3 parts:

  1. Test planning
  2. Test Design
  3. Test Execution

In the previous article we have seen that in a practical QA project, we started with the SRS review and Test scenario writing – which is actually the step 2 in the STLC process – the test design, which involves details on what to test and how to test. Why haven’t we started with the Test planning?

Test planning indeed is the first and foremost activity that happens in a testing project.

How test planning takes place at each phase of the SDLC:

SDLC PhaseTest planning activity
InitiateIdeally QA team should get involved while the scope of the project is gathered from the customer/client in the form of business requirements. But in the real world, that is not the case. From a practical point of view, the involvement of the QA team is NIL. At the end of this phase, BRD is finalized and a basic Project Plan is created.
DefineSRS is created from the BRD. Test plan's initial draft is created. At this point, since the QA team is not done with the SRS review, the scope of testing is not clear. So the TP at this phase will only contain information on when testing is going to happen, project information and the team information (if we have it).
DesignThe SRS review is carried out and the scope of testing is identified. We have much more information on what to test and a good estimate of how many test cases we might get etc. A second version of the Test plan is created incorporating all this information.

From the above table it is clear that test plan is not a document that you can create all at once and use it from then on.

Test Plan is a dynamic document. The success of a testing project depends on a well written test plan document that is current at all times. Test Plan is more or less like a blue print of how the testing activity is going to take place in a project.

It has clear information on the following aspects:

Items in a Test Plan TemplateWhat do they contain
Scope =>Test scenarios/Test objectives that will be validated.
Out of scope =>Enhanced clarity on what we are not going to cover
Assumptions =>All the conditions that need to hold true for us to be able to proceed successfully
Schedules =>Test scenario prep
Test documentation- test cases/test data/setting up environment
Test execution
Test cycle- how many cycle
Start and end date for cycles
Roles and Responsibilities => Team members are listed
Who is to do what
module owners are listed and their contact info
Deliverables => What documents(test artifacts) are going to produce at what time frames
What can be expected from each document
Environment => What kind of environment requirements exist
Who is going to be in charge
What to do in case of problems
Tools => For example: JIRA for bug tracking
Login
How to use JIRA
Defect Management => Who are we going to report the defects to
How are we going to report
What is expected- do we provide screenshot?
Risks and Risk Management => Risks are listed
Risks are analyzed- likelihood and impact is documented
Risk mitigation plans are drawn
Exit criteria => When to stop testing

Since, all the above information is the most critical for the day-to-day working of a QA project, it is important to keep the Test Plan document updated at all times.

Here are a few important pointers regarding a test plan:

  1. Test Plan is a document that is the point of reference based on which testing is carried out within the QA team.
  2. It is also a document we share with the Business Analysts, Project Managers, Dev team and the other teams. This is to enhance the level of transparency into the QA team’s working to the external teams.
  3. It is documented by the QA manager/QA lead based on the inputs from the QA team members.
  4. Test Planning is typically allocated 1/3rd of the time it takes for the entire QA engagement.  The other 1/3rd is for Test Designing and rest is for Test Execution.
  5. Test plan is not static and is updated on an on demand basis.
  6. The more detailed and comprehensive the Test plan, the more successful the testing activity.

Sample Test Plan Document for OrangeHRM Project

A sample Test plan template document is created for our “ORANGEHRM VERSION 3.0 – MY INFO MODULE” Project and attached below. Please take a look at it. Additional comments have been added to the document in Red to explain the sections. This Test plan is for the Functional as well as the UAT phases. It also explains the Test Management process using the HP ALM tool.

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Download Test Plan Sample:

test plan template

Test Plan Doc Format => Click here to Download a test plan in Doc format we created for the OragngeHRM live Project we are using for this software testing crash course.

Test Plan PDF Format => Click here to Download test plan in pdf file format.

Worksheet (xls) files referred in above doc/pdf test plan versions => Click here to download the XLS files referred in the test plan document above.

The above Test plan template is very comprehensive and detailed. Please give it a thorough reading for best results.

Now that Test plan is created and explained. We will move on to the next phase in both SDLC and STLC.

SDLC’s Code:  While the rest of the project was spending their time on the TDD creation, we QA’s have identified the Testing scope (Test scenarios) and created the first dependable Test plan draft. The next phase in the SDLC is when coding occurs. Developers are the primary point of focus for the entire team in this phase. QA team too indulges in the most important task ever- the test case creation.

If Test scenarios were “What to test”, the test cases deal with “How to test”. Test case creation is predominant part of the Test designing phase of the STLC. The input for the test case creation activity is the Test scenarios and the SRS document.

For us testers, test cases are the real deal – the stuff that we spend most of our times around. We create them, review them, execute them, maintain them, automate them- well, you get the picture. No matter how experienced we are and what role we play in a project – we would still work with test cases.

In the next article we will talk about how to create test cases? What they are? How we can make them work for us and the other aspects related to test cases.

QA Training Day 4: Writing Test Cases from SRS Document

=> See Also: One more Sample Test Plan Template and Test Plan Document

Like always, keep your questions and comments coming. Please do keep us posted on how this series is helpful to you. For best results, work with us. :)




72 comments ↓

#1 swati sree

the test plan is very detailed.
one question I have is it written by one or two QAs or can be written by the whole team?

#2 Ramya

Everything is in detailed good

#3 Bineet Jena

Thank you for your continuos support,you’re doing a great job.

#4 Aas Ahsan

Very Useful article and much detailed description even for freshers also..

Thanks …

#5 nandini

Hi ,
1. What’s the difference between “test plan” in “V model” and “Agile testing model” (where requirement is changing frequently)?
2. Is it best practice to change plan as requirement comes, what’s the best way to do it?

#6 Vinish

Hi,
Thanks for sharing Test plan.

Didn’t able to open the excel files in Test plan.
Can you please provide it?

Thanks

#7 Sathish BM

The test plan is so informative. Thanks for your post.

@ Swati Sree,

The Test Plan Can be written by a QA Lead [Single person]. He will verify some sample test plan documents if he need to refer.

#8 Smitha

Test plan document is very well explained.My doubt is where will be Test plan kept? Or will it be given to all the QA team members or will it be in shared drive ?
Am new to this please do explain. TIA

#9 satyajit mohanty

Thanks for nice tips…

#10 Swati

@Nandini: Test plan in any model of software development process in more or less the same. In the traditional model it is much more detailed in comparison to the Agile model. The basic principles are the same – it has to have the details guiding the testing process and it needs to be up to date(if requirement changes- test plan has to reflect it)

#11 Swati

@swati sree: As @satish BM answered, the Test plan is a document that is created by a Test Lead/Test Manager. However, inputs are taken from the QA team members.

#12 Swati

@smitha: Where the test plan is placed differs from team to team. Some teams, place it in a shared location. Others use a version controlling software. Which ever means is chosen, test plan is a doc that is made highly accessible to the entire team. However, changes to it are made by the owner(QA lead) only to preserve the integrity of the document.

#13 Vijay

@ Vinish
This might be the MS Word version compatibility issue. I have now uploaded the test plan in PDF format and also the XLS worksheets referred in the test plan are available to download separately now.

Please check and let me know if you still face any issues.

#14 baza

After this project i wont feel like a fresher anymore.
Many tx Vijay

#15 rajitha

thanks for helping…

#16 Mushtaq Shaikh

Its a very good and useful idea to share live project for fresher as well as experienced tester. Thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge and experience with us (tester community).

#17 Hetaxi

Really its very helpful article. I am from Non-IT back ground but it makes me very easy to understand how testing process take place. Thank you very much …expecting similar articles from you for innovative learning…

#18 Nafeesa Shamshad Khattak

Very informative article, Thanks for sharing.

#19 Poovarasan Murugan

This helps alot and good understanding.

#20 Swetha

Thanks for sharing test plan :-) nice article :-)

#21 ivan

where can i get the next article? regarding test cases.

#22 Ritesh

Great …

#23 swapnajit

i visited many of testing websites but to be honest found this as most helpful,useful, content oriented with detail explained. thanks a ton for your support and guidance.

#24 uthra

Can you please provide the link to the next article?

#25 Swati

@ivan: the next article is coming up in a day or two.please stay tuned

#26 Swati

@uthra:the next article is coming up in a day or two.please stay tuned

#27 ivan

@ swati: Thank you so much

#28 Sathish BM

@ Swati,

Thanks Swati. You are correct. But the test plan mostly written by Team Lead only. Some Cases it moves to Test Manager. They will get the support from testing team members.

Can I have few real time test plan documents?

#29 Deyan

Great Stuff.

Wish you all the best…

#30 sagar elwande

same project given by seed infotech faculty. They dont explain or teach write test case, test plan, . How to find bugs.
there is no defect in project.

I have waste money to join Seed Infotech .
Please dont join seed infotech, MIND script, Squad Infotech in Mumbai. never join this Institutes.

#31 Sinh

I don’t know how to list all risks in Test Plan? what is relate to Risks and Risk management in project. Anyone help me for this?

Thanks so much !

#32 Suresh

You are rocking… man.

#33 Anilkumar

Thanks for ur support…it’s very helpful for who r looking testing career…

#34 Nanda

Purpose of making Test Plan is to derive

Introduction
Scope
Purpose
Test Strategy (Type of Testing will be carried out)
Testing Approach
Planning & Scheduling
Risk Analysis (Application risk like 3rd party integration etc, Organizational risk – e.g. if duration is 1 yr and mean time how we manage the attritions etc)
Entry Criteria
Exit Criteria
Resumption Criteria
Test Environment
Assumption / Assumption Criteria

Will share the TPD to Project manager / Delivery Heads for Review & Approval, incase of any discrepency on their planning they will conduct meeting with TL/TM and negotiate / discussion on Planning & Scheduling or additional Type of testing needs to be incorporated etc.

Hope this will help some clarity

#35 parul

In section 2.5.2 of test plan for live site Orange HRM (i.e. Functional Test), You are mentioning “Functional Testing Scope.xlsx”. So I need to refer it. Can u please tell me from where to download the same?

#36 Bibhuti bhusan Sethy

please forward me mannual testing materials to mail id .

#37 nehshriv

Very detailed information … gud job done

#38 sharmila

I am unable to access this test plan doc. I tried all this ways. can you please tell me what alternative can be done ?

#39 hema

please help me to provide the test scenario some example in excel format

#40 ram

thank you very much ,good job

#41 Nirmal

Hi,

Your site is very informative. Swati and Vijay both of you have done an incredible job. I have a question. Do you prepare a Test Plan for every requirement or the Test Plan will be common for all the requirements.

Thanks

#42 Nirmal

Do you have a training program for Test Lead. For those testers who aspire to become a Test Lead. If you haven’t started a training program for Test Lead. My request to Swati and Vijay to start a training program for Test Lead. Your training will help lot of testers to turn themselves as Lead.

Thanks.

#43 Nirmal

Hi,

Can you differentiate between Test Plan, Test Strategy and Project Plan in detail.

#44 Srinivas Kotha

Project Plan – Created by Manager (dev.) for the project/product.

Test Plan – High level document which includes all of the points.”Test Plan: the set of ideas that guide a test project”

Test Strategy – Part of test plan. Test Stratgey or Test Approach is a set of guide lines that describes test design.
“Test Strategy: the set of ideas that guide test design”

#45 Eric

Here is a great Test Plan Template: http://www.hitdocs.com/test-plan-template-excel-xlsx/

#46 Jasvir

could you also give a test strategy plan for the sample OrangeHRM project

#47 saikishore

this is very informative and honestly says this is useful to who are switch over their career to software testing.

#48 Lal

Hi Swati, Your site is very informative. Do you train candidate based on Role. I am looking for training related to Test Lead. Can you help me with this.

#49 Srini

Great help to me in preparing my test cases. Super job.. Thanks a lot!

#50 damu

thanks a lot, it is very useful

#51 AnnaBond

Information is very usefull, I think we can add another section called “Approval” which details about approver and date of approve of the test plan

#52 Adam

I download the Test Plan. It is very detail. But I want to know, the function test, also called “Integration Test”?
And also, I did not see the SYSTEM TEST in the test plan.
Can anyone point out? Thanks.

#53 Anju L S

HAI dude! thanks. It’s very helpful

#54 Neharika

Hi Vijay and Swati Seela,
Your online QA training course is very informative and easy to understand even for beginners like me. Great job !!!

#55 Neharika

Thank You for the course.

#56 Raja Singh

It is very helpfull……thank u so much….and plz add some more test plans like this

#57 Aditya Aggarwal

Very informative and precise… will help a lot in Interviews …. lol :)

#58 ramya

thanks for ur help..in real time testplanning also made by testers na..

#59 Evergreen

How to keep track of changing requirements and functionality in the test plan?

#60 Salman Aslam

Awesome source of learning :)

#61 yuvaraj s

Very useful..

#62 Audrey

Hello,
I’m very new to this field as I just joined in. Can you please let me know what other setback happens in the real world when executing a test plan.
All your questions and answers above truly helped! Thanks.

#63 mike

testing

#64 vidhya

thanks for sharing a test plan/test planning in details.
thanks

#65 Shiv

hey guys,

first great job on this and the other tutorials. I’m a new user but have found the material on your site easy to understand and thorough !

Quick question about marking tests as critical. When and how do you mark tests as critical ? Also what document would it be part of ?

Thanks!
Shiv

#66 Alloch william Akoll

It is amazing, out there, most schools operate by not preparing any test plans at all. this Web-site provides a very good incite to them. the challenge is that many of teachers do not access een this web site because when they open a computer, mos people look for exciting things and not professional building/capacity building information!
Teachers are encouraged to make the best use of information which others have bothered to post to the net to support them.

William

#67 rajitha

Thanks for sharing

#68 bizz

Need help anyone.

Overview

The re-formatter is a small application that can change encrypted and unencrypted files from one to the other and vice versa.? It picks up files from a given directory, converts them and drops them to a second specified directory. It is designed to run continuously.

Log File

Log files will be created for each day of operation. Logging will pass from one file to the next at midnight.? The log files will be added to the “logs” directory that must be present in the working folder of the application.? Older log files are routinely deleted based on age. The version number and start-up time will be added to the log file when the application boots up.? Under normal operation there will be only two entries per processed file.? These are, “Processing: ” and “Finished Processing ”. In the event of an error there will be a time and date stamped entry in the log file with an associated string containing the reason for the error.

INI file settings

The Re-Formatter uses a settings.ini file to configure its operation.? The settings.ini file must be present in the applications working directory.

The entries are as follows:

Heading:?[Paths]

Entries:?InputPath = Full path to the pickup folder>

?????????OutputPath =Full path to the drop folder>

NB:?The folders specified by InputPath and OutputPath must both exist before the application is started. It doesn’t matter if the path ends in a \ or not.

Heading:(Options)

Entries : Encrypted encryption status of the incoming files 1 = encrypted : 0 = unencrypted>

?Heading:?[Logging]

?Entries:?DeleteLogsDays = minimum number of days old a file has to be before it is removed>

Task: Write a test plan document and a set of functional test cases in order to fully test the XML Re-Formatter tool paying close attention to: Ensuring that the Test Plan covers how the application is to be tested. Ensuring that functional Test Cases are written assuming no prior knowledge of the application. Ensuring that there are no test gaps and all facets of the software are being tested.

#69 nag

hai…@friends
please help me…
what is the purpose & importance of test plans …?
in detailed..(i have ppt on this topic )

#70 Hanif

need to write test plan for railway application form .. can anyone give idea for that how to start the test report what are things that are including in ..

#71 Sharmila Mathew

Good and detailed. Many thanks

#72 Bhumi

Hi can some one tell me detail process of QA and UAT testing difference?

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