Course Duration: 1 Day

Course Category: Software Testing


7 Contact Hours

Writing Test Plans

Workshop Overview

Writing a “test plan” can be a difficult task. Many organisations define test plans differently and in some cases, each project adopts its own unique definition. Inevitably, this lack of clarity leads to inconsistent documentation, misunderstanding and wasted time.


The IEEE Std 829-1998, IEEE Standard for Software Test Documentation describes four separate documents related to test planning and specification.


This one-day workshop teaches participants how to apply a consistent approach to developing and documenting test plans that is based on the IEEE 829 standard.


The workshop commences with some basic testing-related concepts and definitions. It then moves on to present a guided tour of IEEE 829 standard that interprets each section of the standard in plain language and helps to clarify what constitutes a “test plan”.


The theory session of the workshop concludes with the introduction of a set of test planning templates based on the IEEE 829 standard. A detailed explanation of each section of the templates is provided together with practical tips and techniques for identifying content.



The second half of the workshop provides participants with an opportunity to develop a realistic test plan using the test planning templates.


Workshop Features
  • The course is divided into two sessions:
  • The morning is devoted to a theory session that introduces participants to the IEEE 829 standard and a set of test planning templates based on the standard.
  • The afternoon consists of a practical session that offers participants the opportunity to develop a test plan based on the template

Participants can download a soft copy of the test plan template from the course web site

Participant Benefits
  • Understanding of the contents of IEEE 829
  • Familiarity with standard test planning templates
  • Ability to identify suitable content for each section of the templates
  • Ability to tailor the templates to suit the needs of a specific organisation or project
  • Understanding of how the different sections of the test planing templates are related to each other
  • Standardized terminology and approach to test planning

Who should Attend
  • Process Engineers, Software Engineering Process Group (SEPG) Staff, Methodologists, Process Improvement Staff
  • Business Analysts, Business Systems Analysts, Systems Analysts, Functional Analysts
  • Software Development Managers, Software Engineers, Developers, Requirements Engineers, Requirements Analysts
  • Test Managers, Test Engineers, Testers, Quality Assurance Staff

Workshop Agenda   

Introduction Testing concepts and definitions

  • The relationship between errors, defects and failures
  • Verification and validation de-mystified
  • The objectives of testing
    • Validation
    • Verification
    • Identify a failure
    • Testing is not about "finding all the bugs"!
  • Test to pass vs. test to fail test cases
  • Test target
    • Unit
    • Integration
    • System
    • Acceptance
  • Understanding test activities
    • Test planning
    • Test case specification
    • Test execution and reporting
    • Defect repair
    • “Testing” is not a single activity that is scheduled after development!

Introduction to “IEEE Std 829-1998, IEEE Standard for Software Test Documentation”

  • Overview of the standard
  • The Test Plan
  • Test specification documents
    • Test Design Specification
    • Test Case Specification
    • Test Procedure Specification
  • Test reporting documents
    • Test Item Transmittal Report
    • Test Log
    • Test Incident Report
    • Test Summary Report
  • Relationship between the test documents
  • Mapping of the IEEE 829 documents to test activities
  • Mapping of the IEEE 829 documents to test targets
  • Related standards
  • Supplementing the IEEE 829 standard documents with custom documentation



Test planning templates

  • Test plan
    • When a test plan is required
    • Test strategy
    • Test items to be tested
    • Features to be tested
    • Overall approach to testing
    • Pass/fail criteria
    • Suspension and resumption criteria
    • Risks and contingency plans
  • Project plan
    • Skill requirements
    • Staffing and responsibilities
    • Tasks and their dependencies
    • Schedule
  • Test design spec
    • Refining the strategy described in the test plan if a test plan exists
    • Standalone document if no test plan exists
    • Relationship to the requirements specification
    • Analysis of test results
    • Relationship to test case specification and test procedure specification
  • Test case spec
    • Structuring test cases
    • Test case dependencies
    • Separating and relating test cases and test data
    • Relationship to the requirements specification
    • Relationship to test design spec and test procedure spec
  • Test procedure spec
    • Organising test procedures as scenarios
      • Set up scenario
      • Main scenario
      • Alternate scenarios
      • Exception scenarios
      • Wrap up scenario
    • Test management scenarios
    • Relationship to the requirements specification
    • Relationship to system and user documentation
    • Relationship to test design spec and test case spec

Applying the templates

  • Tailoring the templates
  • The simplest test plan
  • Test management tools
  • Automated test tools

Review and Conclusion

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