Testing: Test Plan Development – Step 1

In this segment, we look at the first step of developing a test plan – Assembling the Test team.

Step I – Assembling the test team

The test team should be organized concurrently with the development team. The purpose of the test team is to perform verification and validation as it relates to implementation. For a specific project, the purpose of the test team is:

1)     To perform verification and validation for the deliverables from development and solution delivery

2)     To act as consultants to the development team during Unit Testing.

Task I.I – Identify Key Application Areas

This task identifies the key application areas that must be involved in testing. It should also identify the testing group’s responsibilities to those areas. For example, testing might be responsible to development for integration testing and system testing, and to solution delivery for release testing.

Output: Statement of Application Areas

Task I.II – Identify Key Individuals

This task identifies important individuals who will be involved, both directly and indirectly, in the testing process. The persons selected as members of the test team will be directly responsible for testing activities while others that act as sponsors will be indirectly involved.

Specific individuals involved in testing should include the following:

1. Quality Assurance Manager

2. Quality Assurance Analysts

3. Test Manager

4. Test Analysts

5. Project Manager

6. Project Team Leader(s)

7. Analysts

8. Programmers

9. Database Services Personnel

10. Network Services Personnel

11. Data Center (Operations) Personnel

12. Customers (Application Users)

Output: Statement of team member responsibilities – This statement assigns specific responsibilities to the members of the test team. This should be the first step in the creation of the Test Work plan that is described in Task I.III. The work plan should be developed in Microsoft Project or in the management component of an automated test tool.

The first action is to list the testing tasks to be completed. This should be followed by a review of the tasks by all of the test team members. When consensus has be reached that the list is correct and complete, an individual team member must be assigned to each task. A final review based on each member’s % of the workload should be completed. MS Project makes this easy as it has several reports that will provide workload, as well as, other statistics.

Task I.III – Assign Individual Responsibilities

The test team members will be responsible for:

n       Developing the test Plan

n       Developing the required test resources

n       Designing the test cases

n       Constructing test cases

n       Executing test cases according to the test plan

n       Managing test resources

n       Analyzing Test results

n       Issuing test reports

n       Recommending application improvements

n       Maintaining Test statistics

Individual assignments must be made so that each area of responsibility is covered and someone can be held accountable.

Output: Team Work Plan – The work plan defines milestones and tentative completion dates for all assigned tasks. A project management tools such as Microsoft Project can make this task very easy and the resulting document is a Gantt Chart that illustrates who is responsible for what and when.

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