Writing Test Plans

Writing a “ test plan " can be a difficult task. Many organisations define test plans differently and in some cases, each project adopts its own unique definition. Inevitably, this lack of clarity leads to inconsistent documentation, misunderstanding and wasted time.

The IEEE Std 829-1998, IEEE Standard for Software Test Documentation describes four separate documents related to test planning and specification.

This one-day workshop teaches participants how to apply a consistent approach to developing and documenting test plans that is based on the IEEE 829 standard. The course is also aligned with the ISEB and ISTQB certification syllabuses.

The workshop commences with some basic testing-related concepts and definitions. It then moves on to present a guided tour of IEEE 829 standard that interprets each section of the standard in plain language and helps to clarify what constitutes a “ test plan " .

The theory session of the workshop concludes with the introduction of a set of test planning templates based on the IEEE 829 standard. A detailed explanation of each section of the templates is provided together with practical tips and techniques for identifying content.

The second half of the workshop provides participants with an opportunity to develop a realistic test plan using the test planning templates.

Course Features

  • The course is divided into two sessions:
  • The morning is devoted to a theory session that introduces participants to the IEEE 829 standard and a set of test planning templates based on the standard
  • The afternoon consists of a practical session that offers participants the opportunity to develop a test plan based on the template
  • Participants can download a soft copy of the test plan template from the course web site

Participant Benefits

  • Understanding of the contents of IEEE 829
  • Familiarity with standard test planning templates
  • Ability to identify suitable content for each section of the templates
  • Ability to tailor the templates to suit the needs of a specific organisation or project
  • Understanding of how the different sections of the test planing templates are related to each other
  • Standardised terminology and approach to test planning

Who Should Attend

  • Process Engineers, Software Engineering Process Group (SEPG) Staff, Methodologists, Process Improvement Staff
  • Business Analysts, Business Systems Analysts, Systems Analysts, Functional Analysts
  • Software Development Managers, Software Engineers, Developers, Requirements Engineers, Requirements Analysts
  • Test Managers, Test Engineers, Testers, Quality Assurance Staff

Course Duration

1 day full-time.

Course Agenda

Testing Concepts and Definitions

  • The relationship between errors, defects and failures
  • Verification and validation de-mystified
  • The objectives of testing
  • Test to pass vs. test to fail test cases
  • Test levels
  • A testing framework
  • Understanding test activities
  • Product vs. project life cycle

Introduction to “IEEE Std 829-1998, IEEE Standard for Software Test Documentation"

  • Overview of the standard
  • Test specification documents
    • Test Design Specification
    • Test Case Specification
    • Test Procedure Specification
  • Test reporting documents
    • Test Item Transmittal Report
    • Test Log
    • Test Incident Report
    • Test Summary Report
  • Relationship between the test documents
  • Mapping of the IEEE 829 documents to test activities
  • Related standards
    • ISTQB/ISEB Certified Tester Foundation Level Syllabus
    • ISO 9126 Software Quality Characteristics
    • IEEE 1012-1998 Standard for Software Verification and Validation
    • ISO 14598 Software Product Evaluation
    • IEEE 730-1998 Standard for Software Quality Assurance Plans

Test Plans

  • Purpose
  • Outline
  • Dealing with risks
    • Product risks
    • Project risks
  • Introduction
  • Test items
  • Features to be tested
  • Approach
    • Test strategy
    • Constraints
    • Activities
    • Techniques
    • Tools
    • Test completion criteria
  • Item pass/fail criteria
  • Suspension criteria and resumption requirements
  • Test deliverables
  • Testing tasks
  • Environmental needs
  • Schedule

Test Design Specification

  • Purpose
  • Outline
  • Features To Be Tested
    • Test items
    • Test conditions
    • Types of feature
  • Approach Refinements
    • Test design techniques
      • Black-box techniques
      • Glass-box techniques
    • Test basis
    • Test completion criteria
    • Test oracle
    • Relationship to Test Case Specifications
  • Test design specification
  • Feature pass/fail criteria

Test Case Specification

  • Purpose
  • Outline
  • Relationship to Test Design Specifications
  • Test items
  • Input and output specifications
    • Applying equivalence partitioning to input and output data
    • Using spreadsheets as a test oracle
  • Environmental needs
  • Special procedural requirements
  • Test case dependencies

Test Procedure Specification

  • Purpose
  • Outline
  • Relationship to Test Case Specifications
  • Special requirements
  • Test procedure template
    • Set up scenarios
    • Test scenarios
    • Exception scenarios
    • Error scenarios
    • Test management scenarios