A test strategy is a high-level document that usually comes from your project manager. It documents how you plan to test the product, including any goals and risk factors associated with testing.
The BRS is the original starting point for a Test Plan. The requirements are used to compile and create methodologies, test cases, and other forms of documentation. The BRS provides the foundation for all test planning activities.
There are many organizations, but all of them follow the Test Strategy Document to achieve the intended goals and to follow best practices.
This is one of the important documents in test deliverables. Like other test deliverables, this is shared with stakeholders to understand better the scope of the project, approaches, and other aspects.
What is a Test Strategy Document?
Test Strategy Document is a plan that helps us in defining an approach to the Software Testing Life Cycle. It is not enough to just design each test case for time-boxing so as to deliver the software on time; it must be done in a manner that gives quality results.
In short, it tells how you do your job. For example, if I am a software tester then my test strategy helps me in understanding what parts of the application should be tested first or where should I start testing. It can be a statement of what the product needs to do or it can be an overview of the entire test process and how each component will fit into it.
Also, the Test Strategy Document is important for both, QA and Development teams. For a tester, it gives an overview of the entire project and helps in building Test Plans. For developers, it lets them know about the tests that were carried out on their product and other pre-requisites like bug lifecycle management which they have to follow during the testing process.
Test strategy needs to be updated as per changes in business need or any new requirement that comes up after decided features are developed in the project; otherwise, gaps might arise between Business Requirement Specifications (BRD) and what actually occurs in the field. It also helps us to ensure that we are working in the right direction and not wasting our efforts on the wrong path.
Who Creates Test Strategy Document?
Test strategy is often created at the beginning of the project and maintained throughout the testing process. However, it may be created or modified at any time during the development lifecycle to ensure that businesses or customers have their expectations met with quality products and services. Following are different roles who play a role in creating test strategy there through the testing process:
Test Strategy Creator: It can be anyone from the Testing team involved in creating such document but normally this role plays by the Project Manager as his responsibility is for monitoring overall project health and act as single point contact from the client end. The client representative also sits along with team members while drafting the strategies, so he/she can confirm on priorities of user requirements along with business context to verify if they are ‘fit for purpose. Business Analyst (BA) is also expected to know the context of requirement and provide additional information that can help in defining testing strategy.
Test Strategy Reviewer: Complete test strategy document may be reviewed by different stakeholders based upon their involvement in planning, implementation, deployment, maintenance, or support responsibilities for the project. Typical reviewer roles are Test Lead, QA Manager, Project Manager, or Testers if they handle some part of the application/project which is under review.
Test Strategy Document Definition
Just like many other software documents, it is an important component of overall deliverables which a Software Testing Team plans to execute during the whole project lifecycle while working with the Development team. It helps us understand how we will conduct our tests and we can predict the kind of defects which we might find.
Test Strategy Document
As a beginner, you may not get an opportunity to create a test strategy document, but it’s good to know how to. You will be better equipped when you are handling a QA Team. Once you reach the position of Project Lead or Manager, try developing this important tool.
Creating an effective testing strategy document is a difficult but necessary skill. A test strategy plan should be created to outline the type of testing for your project. The plan should be circulated to all team members so that they have input on the direction of your project and can create consistent results.
There are no strict rules for how many sections your Test Strategy should have. They vary depending on the company to company, but this list highlights what may be included in a good test strategy document.
How to Create Test Strategy?
There is a wide variety of ways that organizations approach software development, so it’s up to the individual company on how they want to create their test strategy document. Before following any template, you should ensure the document is compatible and provide value to the development process.
Test Strategy Document template is mostly based on requirements. In order to achieve the best results, a test strategy document needs to be written after the product requirement’s BRS (Business Requirements Specification).
Testing approach and methodologies are two key factors in which we should define our test strategy template. It specifies how would you like to get your requirements done.
Test Strategy Document Template is a written document that helps the team members to understand how the test will be done and what are the risks involved with it. This should include all of the test phases, frequencies, and any other factors related to testing such as success criteria in delivering the right product with the correct functional requirements.
Test strategy documents can also help you when you have to communicate with clients. A test strategy document is a great tool for showing your client that you know what you are doing and how it’s important for the project.
Sections of Test Strategy Document
Depending on the product under testing, you can include different sections in your strategy document. Here is a list of some important ones that we usually see:
Test Strategy Templates can be used as a guideline to write strategy documents. This would help you to save the time that you spent in creating a test strategy document.
Test Strategy templates may not be compatible with all the project requirements, but you can modify them according to your needs. Some of the important things that you have to take care of before selecting a template.
Following are the sections of the test strategy document
Scope and overview: This is the most important part of the test strategy document. Scope and overview provide high-level information about the scope, purpose, and audience. In this section, you can also provide a description of business needs or technology under testing together with a product description.
Test approach: This is an important section of the Test Strategy Document Template that defines how we are going to execute and test our software. This should include activities such as risk identification, pre-requisites for test planning, deliverables of testing methodologies, phases of testing, parameters to be measured, and any other thing related to the product under testing.
Test approach can be categorized into two types: functional and non-functional tests. Functional sections in the template help you to define how we are going to test our software. Non-functional testing on the other hand is more about system behavior like performance, reliability, etc.
Testing tools: The test strategy document should also include details about the tools that will be used for testing. It includes both manual and automated test scripts, plans for measurement of quality, data management plans, etc.
Industry standards to follow: In order to write a test strategy document, you should know about the best practices related to your fields of testing. This section will help you to define the standards by which you should follow for executing your tests and make sure they are not violating any industry requirements.
Test deliverables: In this section, you can include the important deliverables that are related to testing such as test scenarios, checklists, and any other thing.
Testing metrics: Metrics helps to analyze the progress of a testing project. It will also allow you to effectively communicate with other stakeholders in order to keep their attention on quality while it is being implemented.
Requirement Traceability Matrix: It is helpful in tracking and keeping the requirement to quality plan correlation. It will help you to eliminate any gaps between testing requirements, test levels, test cases, etc.
Risk and mitigation: Risks are like the challenges that may come in front of your project and needs to be considered while writing a test strategy document. This section also provides information about mitigation measures for risks and it will help you to tackle them effectively.
Reporting tool: This section contains the details of reporting tools that are going to be used for communicating with clients and other stakeholders about quality results.
Test summary: This is the final section of the test strategy document that provides a summary of tested products, test results, and key findings.
Test Strategy Document Template
This template will help you to easily create your own test strategy document. Before using this template, you should know about all sections of it mentioned below. You can use any suitable format like MS Word or PDF file to draft your own test strategy document based on this structure.
Overview: Introduction to project/product under review, brief description about its importance and objectives in context with business requirements that are needed to be achieved by delivering product.
Overall Test Approach: Details what testing approach will be implemented during the software development life cycle how it will be done, time and resources required for achieving it in context to the overall project plan.
Testing tools: This section will include detailed information about the tools that the software testing team will use for achieving the defined goals of the project.
Industry standards to follow: This section will include checkpoints for the testing process if any standard (like ISO 9126, or any other industry-specific standards) is to be followed in it.
Defect Management Plan: Proper defect management plan is important for every software product, so why not define one while planning test strategy – which includes (Types of defects & their severity level). Describe what processes you are going to follow for handling newly found issues/bugs during testing or discovered by end-users i.e., from the initial phase of finding them till final closure
Testing Strategy: Lists the testing methods that will be used by the testing team along with details of each method like defect detection potential or resource usage etc. Also, the list of various tools/scripts that will be adopted during the testing process is included in this section. You can also mention any specific test design techniques or rules that you follow while creating test cases here.
Execution Plan: Details about execution of testing efforts (testers) involved in the entire software development life cycle are provided in this section such as who handles what kind of activities, how much effort they put into it and their roles while executing tasks, etc. Terminologies used by industry professionals to express aspects of execution plans are also included here.
Test Basis: List of the metrics which are used to track testing progress (like bug counts, test case coverage, etc ) and success rates of what is already delivered in form of release notes or project financial reports. Additional information about how you might create your test strategies and what additional things you will take into account like business risks, dependent aspects, critical features, and any other important input from the client end while preparing such document is also mentioned here.
Outcome: This section explains what results we should expect as a result of this strategy. It explains how many resources could be saved or spent efficiently by considering the time frame involved in the whole process plus how much defect can be caught with those resources if it is a software testing effort.
Approval: This section does not belong to the template but it is important to maintain it as per business needs for presenting the Test Strategy Document to concerned parties. Business sign-off along with dates and signatures are part of approval content which should be included in this section. You can prepare any specific format like letterhead or email templates for presenting the final Test Strategy Document to project stakeholders.
Key Points – There are many aspects in accessing test strategy document which we need to consider while making strategies that could help us achieve greater success during the execution phase.
Test Strategy is one of the last deliverables for an application/project under review. As a result, all other documents related to testing activity have to be prepared before starting to make this document. In case if you need to update any of them while making a test strategy, it should be carefully done.
Test Strategy Document is the last report after the final acceptance testing phase or alpha/beta testing activities have been completed for the software project and a product is handed over to the client’s end. As a result, every other testing activity which was performed previously has already been reported with all details like what defects were detected and how much effort was required to find those bugs by execution of each type of testing method used during the whole process. That means you have a complete Executed Test Plan at your disposal before writing the test strategy document so that you can take advantage of outcomes as well as share metrics related to cost estimation also.
Stakeholders should be involved in the creation of this document so that it could be explained clearly to them which would help them in having a clear picture of testing activity and expected results for the project. The same is true with Executor Group also, stakeholders should be clear about their roles and responsibilities while executing tasks assigned to them while making Test Strategy Document during the planning phase.
You can use the template mentioned here as a starting point but it may require some changes according to your specific needs and business environment. You can store some important information related to real-time aspects like client’s expectations, risks faced by execution of the project, test metrics (test case coverage, etc ), risk reporting schedule, etc as part of a separate excel sheet so that you don’t lose track on them even if the document is updated.
Test Cases should be created before making this document so that they could be documented clearly in a report along with their estimated amount. Test case coverage (how many lines of code) will tell how much un-tested condition exists in the application/project and that could help us create better strategies for achieving greater success.
Test Strategy Document should give an easy-to-understand view on test execution for all stakeholders so that it could be maintained easily by different groups and Executor groups as well. In case if you are making the document for a Read-Only Group, then test metrics like cost and time estimates will do more than enough in helping them achieve better results during the testing phase.
If you are working as a Quality Assurance Analyst or Quality assurance engineer, a Test Strategy Document may help you in convincing your customers about software quality. A well-defined test strategy would demonstrate the importance of Testing in an organization and also prove that there is someone who can be held accountable for the quality of the product.
This is one of the most important document templates which every tester should have in their arsenal. This template helps you to define Scope, Objectives, and Deliverables together with the Test Approach and Tools used in the project under testing. Also, it includes the Metrics section which provides details about Quality Metrics that will be used for keeping track of progress.
If you have any queries regarding the Test Strategy Document or this article, please feel free to leave a comment below.