7 Steps to Create Good Test Strategy Document

A Test Strategy document or Test Approach document is a static document in software testing which clearly defines the exact software testing approach and testing objectives of the software application. Test Document is an important document for Qa’s which is derived from business requirements that guide the whole team about software testing approach and objectives. According to the ISTQB, the Test Strategy “includes how testing is used to manage product and project risks, the division of testing into levels, and the high-level activities associated with testing.”.

Unfortunately, not all companies ask their Product Managers and Testers to build such documents and, many times even if the document exists, it is ignored while working on projects.

There are still is great confusion about Test Strategy and Test Plan documents in some companies. Each company has their unique processes and standards to manage these documents. For example, some companies include test Strategy information in Test Plan. But then what are the differences between the Test Strategy Document and the Test Plan? What information should each contain?

Test Plan: In the Test Plan, test focus and project scope are defined. It deals with test coverage, scheduling, features to be tested, features not to be tested, estimation and resource management.

Test Strategy: Test strategy is a guideline to be followed to achieve the test objective and execution of test types mentioned in the testing plan. It deals with test objective, test environment, test approach, automation tools and strategy, contingency plan, and risk analysis.

A good Test Strategy document must follow a few components:
-Scope and overview;
-Test Approach;
-Testing Tools;
-Business industry standards to follow;
-Roles and responsibilities;
-Test deliverables,
-Testing metrics;
-Requirement traceability;
-Possible risks and mitigation;
-Reporting tools
-Test Summary

Let´s start with the preparation process itself. We will break it down into several steps and define what it takes to create a Test Strategy document. How to create a Test Strategy?

  • Scope and overview

Decide the scope of testing activities (roles and responsibilities) to be carried out with timelines concerning overall project timelines defined in the test plan, who should approve, review and use this document.

  • Test Approach

Specify the process of testing and life cycle, testing levels, roles and responsibilities of each team member, type of testing (load testing, security testing, performance testing, etc…) and establishing testing approaches.

  • Test Environment

Define the number of requirement and setup required for each environment, the clear instruction on How to create test data and defining the backup of test data and restore strategy.

  • Testing Tools

Choose all the tools that will be used for test execution. All commercial, open-source, automation and management tools, and, determine how many users are supported on it and plan according.

  • Release Control

Release management plan with the appropriate version history that will make sure test execution for all modification in that release.

  • Risk Analysis

List all risks that you imagine. Provide a clear plan to mitigate these risks and also a contingency plan in case if you see these risks in reality.

  • Review and Approvals

All these activities are reviewed and signed off by the business team, development team, project management, etc…

Summary of review changes should be tracked at the beginning of the document along with approval names, dates and every note.

Conclusion

The Test Strategy document is not a paper page. It is the reflection of whole QA activities in the software testing life cycle. It must be consulted and modified throughout the different phases of software development. It is often overlooked on the shelf or rejected when the release date approached, ignoring everything that was through and defined for the test strategy. But it is advisable to discuss with your team whether or not cutting down on any particular activity will help for release without any potential risk of major issues post-release. Most of the agile teams cut down on writing strategy documents as team focus is on test execution rather than documentation. But having a basic test strategy plan always helps to clearly plan and mitigate risks involved in the project. Agile teams can capture and document all high-level activities to complete test execution on time without any issues.

If you are interested I leave here a link to a sample of a Test Strategy document.

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Braulio Batista

Braulio Batista

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