Writing Successful Test Plans

One of the challenges we see is that project team members dislike writing.

Documentation that is very visible business owners/team leads, e.g. business/technical requirements, design, or project management, will not be greatly impacted due to the maturity of the senior resources.

However, one area seems to suffer and does have an impact for project timelines & future go-live estimates. Documentation for test plans may be very simplistic or detailed.

Project suffer timeline challenges when test plans & tests scripts are too simplistic.

The business QA resources assigned to execute the test plan/test scripts can NOT be assumed to have the in-depth background/knowledge of the solution. If the initial conditions and final output are not clearly called out (or how to reset them), then we have seen project timeline is drawn out as they are pushed into a seemingly never-ending cycle of QA testing.

To ensure your project is successful, demand that the test scripts for the test plans are written out as if to be executed by your great-grandparents. This includes which hyperlinks to use, which browser to use, which initial conditions to reset, which tool to reset to initial conditions, which steps to follow, how to record the final answer, where to capture the results, screenshot to be captured where and how.

The above methodology ensures that we do not have a “black box” of a solution, e.g. something-goes-in and we-hope-that-something-good-comes-out.

With the above process, the QA team lead can then scale out their team as needed.

When expected input/output information is captured, automated testing can be introduced with enhanced reporting and validation. This becomes exponentially valuable for IAM solution that manages 100’s of endpoints from legacy [AS/400, HP-NONSTOP NSK, Mainframe (ACF2/TSS/RACF/TSO)] to SaaS Cloud solutions.

So don’t contemplate, spend the time and reap the values. Make your grandparents proud!