System Test Plan

Plan helps to reduce costly roadblocks down the road by keeping everyone on the same page regarding expectations and responsibilities.

A System Test Plan details the complete approach to the validation of the system under test. It generally contains glossary terms, the objectives of the System Test, the testing approach, risks, deliverables, defect management, and much more.  The document should answer all questions associated with the System Test prior to the actual execution of the plan and in formal situations, requires stakeholders to sign off on it.  Such a clear and concise plan helps to reduce costly roadblocks down the road by keeping everyone on the same page regarding expectations and responsibilities.  A thorough plan like QA Mentor’s has several sections, including but not necessarily limited to the list below. Each item listed contains a high level description of the sections and the information contained in them.

Purpose and Objectives

The overall purpose, goals, and objectives of the System Test are described in this section. Documents used to create the plan are referenced here.

Planning and Preparation

This section outlines what features and tasks are in scope, and which ones are out of scope. It contains the System Test schedule with expected start and completion dates for each phase based on information from managers, the scope, and the resources. All expected deliverables such as status reports, defect reports, and test execution summaries are listed, and infrastructure requirements such as test environments are described in detail.

Test Strategy

Operating and Execution models are described in this section and include terminology and processes for each. Processes are always attuned with the client. Test case prioritization process is outlined here in case decisions have to be made to reduce testing scope. A high level explanation of the test approach for functional and regression tests explains how testing will be handled to conform to the strategy. If there will be User Acceptance testing, the process for UAT handover is described here. Test cycles, defect management lifecycles, and communication plans are also included in this robust section.

Test Criteria

The required entry and exit criteria are listed in this section. Examples include the creation of test scenarios, test cases, defect management plan, or code base delivery.

Dependencies and Risks

All assumptions, dependencies, and risks are listed in this section. If any assumption or dependency is not met, it could delay the plan execution so special attention is paid to this section so that all members of the team are aware of their responsibilities prior to and during plan execution. Any identified risks are listed as well.

Roles and Responsibilities

Every member of the team has a specific role and associated responsibilities. These are listed here.  This section often includes a Sign Off table that lists the managers and their associated review and sign off expectations.

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