Software Testing Learning Hub

What is Difference between Test Plan and Test Strategy?

Test plan and Test Strategy terms creates lot of confusion between the quality professionals. many companies used it in a wrong way. There is very distinct difference between these Test plan and Test Strategy. we will see the what exactly is Test plan and Test Strategy is and their differences.

First lets go with definitions of Test plan and Test Strategy

Test Strategy:  test strategy is an outline that describes the testing approach of the software development cycle. please read the sentence very carefully, it means Test Strategy document is high level document about the testing approach for the software as a whole.

Test plan:  A test plan  defines the strategy that will be used to verify and ensure that a product or system meets its design specifications and other requirements. It more towards functionality of the software under test.

from above definitions it very clear that Test Strategy document define the strategy about approach of the testing, like which tools we will used, what is scope of testing for whole project/product, Testing measurements and metrics , Defect reporting and tracking etc where as Test plan talks about the strategy to test the specific functionality of the software like Features to be tested , Features which no need to test,Suspension criteria, pass fail criteria for the feature and not for the whole software.

Due to small project, many companies try to combine test plan and test strategy, some company creates Master test plan document.

Components of the Test Strategy document

  • Scope and Objectives
  • Business issues
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Communication and status reporting
  • Test deliverable
  • Industry standards to follow
  • Test automation and tools
  • Testing measurements and metrics
  • Risks and mitigation
  • Defect reporting and tracking
  • Change and configuration management
  • Training plan

Components of the Test Plan document

  • Test Plan id
  • Introduction
  • Test items
  • Features to be tested
  • Features not to be tested
  • Test techniques
  • Testing tasks
  • Suspension criteria
  • Features pass or fail criteria
  • Test environment (Entry criteria, Exit criteria)
  • Test delivarables
  • Staff and training needs
  • Responsibilities
  • Schedule

there is one more difference between Test plan and Test Strategy is Test Strategy does not change often but Test plan changes oftenly due to changes in the software specification changes.