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  1. #1
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    writing useful test plans...

    I recently volunteered as part of a group of QA engineers to overhaul our test plan template. Of the bat, it was suggested that we get suggestions from dev, program management, ts/cs, IT, etc as to what we could put in our test plans that would be beneficial to them. This seems like a pretty logical first step.

    My question to this crowd is, how do you qualify an "effective" test plan? How are test plans uses in your organizations/companies? What have you found to NOT be useful in a test plan?

    Thanks in advance!
    cgr

  2. #2
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    Re: writing useful test plans...

    I think your idea to interview development, etc. as to what they would find useful is an excellent way to pursue this.

    To my mind, I qualify an "effective" test plan as a document people actually pick up and use as reference from time to time.

    I find lengthy "input" and "exit" criteria and "quality gate" information to be pompous, useless verbiage that most people don't read and never refer to. If I have to document such information, however, (and I've had to do so many times), I like to produce a Test Strategy document instead. This allows me to keep the Test Plan lean and to the point.

    Our test plans are used as a reference document (like the specs) and contains links to test requirements, cases, and scripts, the defect manager, and procedures for using these repositories. It contains a test schedule (who is doing what, when, and where), and a brief explanation of how test sessions will be conducted. There is also a call list for support. If there are supporting procedures or documents, those are also listed, with links.

    I try to keep test plans down to 4 pages, max. All other information, procedures, etc. have already been developed and sent out to the team, or included in a test strategy document.

    I also prefer to produce a test plan about 2 weeks prior to the testing itself. Any earlier, and too many variables change to make the document useful.

    - Linda

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Re: writing useful test plans...

    Linda wrote:
    I also prefer to produce a test plan about 2 weeks prior to the testing itself. Any earlier, and too many variables change to make the document useful.
    <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">I agree with this wholeheartedly - but so far, every company I have worked for has it as a deliverable immediately following requirements gathering. This always drives me crazy, as I have to constantly redo the test plan.

    In addition, I would also like to add that I like your approach of a 4 page test plan; I have seen some test plans so full of boiler plate information, that no one bothers to read or follow them.
    JRicardo
    Senior SQA Analyst

  4. #4
    Junior Member
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    Re: writing useful test plans...

    Thanks both for the input.

    I have yet to see a "useful" test plan, so hopefully this will set us on the right course.

    I couldn't agree more about the 4 page limit; our current test plan runs 15 mind numbing pages.

    Thanks again,
    cgr

 

 

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