What Is a Test Strategy?
Test strategy is a high-level plan with principles guiding the software testing process. It provides a structured approach to the entire QA team, heading them toward achieving testing objectives most efficiently.
What Is a Test Strategy Document?
The test strategy document is well-written and outlines the precise methodology and goals of the testing project. It is an essential document for QA teams based on business requirements. It should clarify the core tasks and challenges of the particular test project.
Why You Need a Test Strategy
- Guides the testing effort by providing focus, clarity, and effective risk management.
- Ensures efficiency, effectiveness, and adherence to standards in testing practices.
- Promotes better collaboration between members of the QA team.
- Ensures that all members are aligned on the overall vision of the project.
- Acts as a reference for resource planning and allocation for optimal utilization.
- It allows you to track progress more efficiently.
The following items should be included in the test strategy document:
- Scope and objectives: Determine the testing tasks and responsibilities, along with their respective timelines. Identify the individuals responsible for approving, reviewing, and utilizing the test strategy document.
- Testing approach: Establish the following testing approaches (Agile or Waterfall).
- Testing types to perform: Outline the testing process and its life cycle, including the different testing levels. Specify the types of testing to be conducted: regression testing, load testing, security testing, or performance testing.
- Hardware-software configuration: Define the requirements and hardware-software design required for each environment. This helps the team make informed decisions on whether they should invest in physical or virtual machines.
- Testing tools: Select the tools for test execution, including commercial, open source, automation, and management tools. Consider the tool’s capacity to support the desired number of users and plan accordingly.
- Test deliverables: Define what artifacts and documents should be produced during the testing process to communicate the progress and findings of testing activities. As test strategy is a high-level document, you don’t need to go into minute details of each deliverable, but rather only a brief outline of the items the team wants to create.
- Testing measurements and metrics: Establish the project’s key performance indicators (KPI) and success metrics. These metrics will not only be the means to measure the efficiency and quality of the testing process but also provide a common goal and language of communication among team members. Some standard testing metrics include test coverage, defect density, defect leakage, or mean time to failure (MTTF).
- Risks: List the potential dangers and clear plans to mitigate them or even contingency plans to adopt if these risks arise. Testers generally conduct a level of risk analysis (= probability of it occurring x impact) to see which risk should be prioritized. For example, the team realizes the timeline is tight after planning, but they need more technical expertise to deliver the objectives. This is a High Probability High Impact scenario, and they must have a contingency plan: either changing the goals, investing into the team’s expertise, or outsourcing entirely to meet the delivery date.
All of these items in the document should be carefully reviewed by the business team, the QA Lead, and the Development Team Lead. You can develop detailed test plans for sub-projects or sprint iteration from this document.
In this Software Testing Tutorial, we will learn about what is test strategy in Software Testing. A software test strategy is a document which defines the broader and general way in which the testing will be approached within an organization. Test Strategy is mostly written at the organization level and is independent of projects. Project will use contents of test strategy and refine as per the project contexts.
Following are some of the key sections of test strategy document. Different organizations follow different templates but following sections are the key sections of test strategy document.
1. Scope and Environment
2. Testing Approach
3. Test Environment Specification
4. Testing Tools
5. Release Management
6. Risk Analysis
7. Reviews and Approvals