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Test Plan v/s Test Strategy - Understand the difference

Updated: Aug 12, 2021

Software Test Plan
Software Test Strategy & Test Plan

Software testing is a process of finding defects while the software is in the development phase so that they are not leaked to production and end-user. Both Test Plan and Test Strategy play an important role in the overall success of the testing process and the quality of the software delivery. Many stakeholders including project managers, developers, tech leads, and even software testers consider both are the same or similar. However, these two are considerably different and play a different role in the testing phase. Let's understand the difference between two -

Difference between Test Strategy and Test Plan

Difference between Test Strategy and Test Plan
Difference between Test Strategy and Test Plan

Importance of Test Strategy

  • Test strategy specifies the organizational strategy towards testing. It gives clear direction on organizational view on testing,

  • It gives a long team view on the organization's commitment towards quality delivery.

  • It provides a view into how the organization's strategy is approaching changes in technologies.

Importance of Test Plan

The creation of a test plan is a comprehensive process, but it is one that will prove to be beneficial in the entirety of the testing process.

  • A properly formulated test plan provides clarity to the testing process and each member's roles are clearly highlighted.

  • Test Plan is a defined rule book. Its existence guides the thought process of the team members and enlists the objectives and means to achieve that with a high degree of coherence.

  • Test Plan also reduces the disputes which may arise within the team without it.

  • Important aspects of the testing process like test estimation, test strategy, and scope are thoroughly documented and can be easily reviewed and re-used by the team.

  • Test Plan also provides a clearer picture to the client and members outside the testing team.

  • The main objective is to find as many defects as possible to make sure the software is bug-free.

Characteristics of a Good Test Strategy

An efficiently created test strategy should have the following characteristics:

  • A test strategy is just an approach and doesn't specify details about role and responsibilities,

  • It should articulate the strategy to handle all possible testing situations.

  • it is a generic document and should not be created with any project or business requirements in mind.

  • The test strategy doesn't change with the tactical changes in the testing approach.

Characteristics of a Test Plan

Although a test plan is a well-defined document but with constantly changing environments and good test plan should also be dynamic as it provides a framework that contains important conditions and aspects of the process.

  • It should explain a brief background and summary of the project.

  • It should contain a well-defined list of features To Be tested and features Not To Be tested.

  • It provides a clear picture of the test objective.

  • It should highlight a test approach which states what techniques will be applied during the testing process.

  • It should contain details of the test environment.

  • It should clearly enlist the resources required and the roles and responsibilities of the individuals involved in an efficient, easy to understand, and brief manner.

  • It should contain a well-defined test schedule in accordance with the development schedule.

  • A good test plan should always remain meaningful and regularly updated.

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