What is a Test Plan?

A document describing the scale, resources, approach and schedule is called Test Plan which defines the objectives of testing. It also helps to identify who will do each task, the degree of tester independence, the test environment, the test design techniques and entry and exit criteria to be used, and the rationale for their choice, and any risks requiring contingency planning. 

Importance of the Test Plan

  • You need test plans to document and share the testing approach and scope for the projects and teams you lead for your organization.
  • Communicating a plan helps you to set expectations with your stakeholders – about how your Testing team will engage with a project or program, and the activities they will perform.
  • The Test Plan, more importantly, also communicates what activities your team will NOT perform.
  • Stakeholders understand when they can expect to receive reports of testing progress, and artifacts that will provide these updates.
  • Test Plans help you to uncover any missing elements by publishing Your view of the Testing scope, risks, issues etc. for others to review and add to.
  • A good Test Plan also helps you to forecast and plan for adequate resource support across all the projects your team.

Test Plan types

  • Master Test Plan: A high-level plan, which includes all others.
  • Testing Level Specific Test Plans: Plans for different levels of testing.
    • System testing
    • Acceptance testing
    • Unit testing
    • Integration testing
  • Testing Type Specific Test Plans: Plans for the main types of testing as Performance Test Plan and Test Plan Security.

Test Plan description

Contents of all formats of a software test plan vary depending on the standards, processes and test management tools. The following format is based on the IESQ standard for the testing software, provides an overview of something test plan should contain. 



Test Plan Identifier A number in which to identify the plan. Must be unique.
References A list of documents that support the test plan. Might include functional specifications, project plan etc.
Introduction A summary of the test plan, including the purpose and scope of the testing project
Test Items A list of test artifacts that will be tested.
Features To Be Tested In this section, all the features and functionalities to be tested are listed in detail. It shall also contain references to the requirements specifications documents that contain details of features to be tested.
Features Not To Be Tested A list of features that will not be tested.
Approach In this section, approach for testing will be defined. It contains details of how testing will be performed. It contains information about the sources of test data, inputs and outputs, testing techniques and priorities. The approach will define the guidelines for requirements analysis, develop scenarios, derive acceptance criteria, construct and execute test cases.
Pass/Fail Criteria These criteria will guide your testing staff so that they know whether testing objectives have been achieved. This section can also include “exit criteria,” so that your staff knows when it is acceptable to stop testing a certain feature.

You should also include a list of suspension criteria and resumption requirements. This information tells testers when to pause tests and what the acceptable level of defects is to resume them.

Suspension Criteria Specify what constitutes passing the test. This might be when a certain number of defects are found.
Test Deliverables The artifacts created by the testing team that is delivered upon the completion of the test. These could be test cases, an output from testing tools, and reports.
Testing Tasks In this section, testing tasks are defined. It will also describe the dependencies between any tasks, resources, a required and estimated completion time for tasks. Testing tasks may include the creation of test scenarios, test cases, test scripts, execution of test cases, reporting of bugs, creation of issue log
Environmental Needs This section describes the requirements for a test environment. It includes the hardware, software or any other environmental requirement for testing. The plan should identify what the test equipment is already present and what needs to be procured. 
Responsibilities Who’s in charge of the test team and project? This may include training, guiding the strategy, and identifying risks.
Staffing And Training Needs What resources are needed? Does anyone need additional or special training in order to conduct the test?
Schedule The schedule is created by assigning dates to testing activities. This schedule shall be in agreement with the development schedule to make a realistic test plan.
Risks And Contingencies It is very important to identify the risks, likelihood, and impact of risks. A test plan shall also contain mitigation techniques for the identified risks. Contingencies shall also be included in the test plan. 
Approvals Who signs off on the testing project and approves it to proceed to the next step?


Want to try to create your own Test Plan? EasyQA gives you such an ability.

test plan

Here you can read how to create a Test Plan with EasyQA – https://geteasyqa.com/how-to/how-to-create-test-plan/