In Software testing, it is important to understand the difference between various used terminologies and practices for the testing of software. One such significant difference in Test Management is between Test Strategy and Test Plan.
One thing which I always try to follow is to relate the IT Concepts with real-life happenings. This practice helps to understand the concept well. So, for this post, we will relate the concepts with the current pandemic Covid-19.
Now with the occurrence of the Global Pandemic – Corona (Covid-19) people have understood the importance of Testing. The world is already witnessing the effects of the Corona Virus. We could have easily avoided such a massive impact and spread of the virus around the world if only the testing was conducted at an early stage. The virus could have controlled with the right test strategy and planning and by taking proper actions at an early stage.
We need to understand that If proper testing is not done at the right time, things might get out of hand and affect the entire world hard causing more Health Issues, major Economic crises, and affecting the whole life cycle.
Before taking any action, we need a proper plan and strategy to analyze, understand, and handle the situation. A good plan and strategy will save time, rework, and give superior results.
You can now understand the importance of testing, let’s discuss more on the testing cycle, its execution, approach to be practiced and what resources will be required for testing. All these things fall under the Test Plan and Test Strategy.
Before comparing both Test Strategy and Test Plan, let’s first try to understand them and their purpose a little more.
What is a Test Strategy?
As the word depicts, it is a strategy or approach by which the QA team is going to test the software application.
The test strategy can be divided into small components like Test Objective, Test Environment, and Test Data and Techniques. Factors like risks involved, roles, and responsibilities of the team members, the scope of testing and tools involved are also considered while deciding Test Strategy.
As you may be aware there are different levels of testing like Unit Testing, Integration Testing, and E2E Testing. Test Strategy consists of a high-level description of the test levels to be performed and the testing within those levels for the organization or project. Let’s again take the example of the current pandemic to co-relate with these concepts. Let’s see how a certain test strategy must be prepared to tackle and test out the Covid-19 situation.
Ex: Test Strategy – Track people with recent foreign travel history. Track the people in contact with them. Quarantine them, and do the required tests (Test Case Execution) and check for symptoms (Execution Results) and check if the result is positive or negative (Actual result vs Expected Result) and provide the treatment accordingly (Fix the Issue).
Of Course, there are a lot more things involved in Test Strategy, this was a high-level description for better understanding. We will explore more about Test Strategy in some other posts soon. Let’s move to Test Plan now.
What is a Test Plan?
A Test Plan is a broader range of document compared to Test Strategy. It consists of the complete plan of action for testing for the release and project. A Test Plan is created by the Test Manager and sent to the client for review and the client provides proper feedback related to the Plan of action depending on which modifications are done agreed points.
A Test Plan consists of many sections with detailed information on the plan of execution. The document starts with an Objective, sets the expectation, and then gets further classified into further sections like:
Difference between Test Plan and Test Strategy
You might have already figured out the difference between the Test Strategy and Test plan. To be specific let’s compare both point wise.
Test Strategy Vs Test Plan
|Point||Test Plan||Test Strategy|
|Definition||It is a documented plan where all the testing activities are mapped down||Its strategy to be implemented while testing the software application|
|Creator / Owner||QA Manager or Test Lead creates the Test Plan||Test Strategy is decided by Project Manager and QA Lead|
|Reason of Creation||To document all the activities and risks involved while testing the application||To follow the best practices to get the optimum test results|
|Objective||Its objective is to document and let the stakeholders know what all testing activities are planned, the period, scope and tools and techniques to be used in the project||Its objective is to select the best testing techniques and get the expected result of the activities.|
|Changes / Modifications||Test Plan can be modified as per the risks evolved||Test Strategy is mostly not changed|
|Scope||Test Plan is project specific document and will differ as per the project||It is an overall strategy which can be implemented in similar projects|
|Part Of||Test Plan is the parent document in which Test Strategy is described||Test Strategy is a section in the Test Plan Document|
We have tried to answer most of your queries related to Test plan & Strategy, still let’s look at some of the most asked queries.
A business document where the details of the Test plan will be captured and described. It consists of scope, approach, features to be tested, test environment, and tools and techniques to be used with the schedule of tasks.
Test Plan is an overall Test Document which consists of the testing activities, risk and techniques planned for the project which also consists of Test Strategy.
Irrespective of Agile or not, Testing Strategy will be important part of any project while the Test plan depends on project specific requirement and tenure involved of the project.
The answer to this question is, it depends on the project level. The requirements and period involved for testing of the project. But as per my experience creating a Test Plan always a healthy practice.