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System Test Strategy

This is a higher level document than the Test Plan and describes the approach and associated standards utilized to meet the project objectives.

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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.


This describes the objective of the testing being performed and identified the criteria used for acceptance.


The key considerations are listed here, with reference to any information that contributes to test strategy decisions such as if the testing will be white box or black box, if it will be tested on multiple platforms, if there are audio/visual components, and/or any automation strategy invoked.


The units or modules to be tested are listed here with configurations to be tested, documentation that will be validated, and any hardware that needs to be tested. All in-Scope and out-of-scope items are identified along with all business processes that will be validated with their variations and associated modules. Interfaces, reports, conversions, or workflows that require validation are listed here as well.

Testing Goals

The testing goals of the entire project are detailed in this section. The classification or types of defects are identified, such as design issues, missing requirements, or coding defects. This section also outlines the acceptance criteria as it related to the testing phase and scope. Each testing phase is identified with its associated acceptance criteria that signifies the completion of the phase.

Testing Approach

One of the more detailed sections, this lists all levels of testing (unit, integration, system, UAT), the associated type of testing, execution strategy and methodology for each. The tools and templates to be used for traceability and requirement analysis are identified, and any optional processes for things such as Change Requests.

Test Data Management

All guidelines for data creation and utilization for each level and type of testing are outlined here along with data quality and quantity requirements.


All deliverables and their schedule for delivery are listed here.

Testing Tools

All testing tools and their associated dependencies are listed in this section, such as defect tracking, performance, or security testing.

Measures and Metrics

Any metrics that will be used for status or completion reporting purposes are described in detail in this area.

Defect Management

The tools, processes, and classification criteria for defects are described in this section.

Status Reporting

All status reports and their associated preparer, recipients, and frequency are listed in a table.

Test environment

Details of the testing environment(s) or instances are described here with their hardware and software configurations, locations, and data refresh rates.

Roles and Responsibilities

Every member of the team has a specific role and associated responsibilities, and those are all listed in this section.


Any identified risks are outlined and explained, along with the mitigation strategy and possible impacts.

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