ISTQB CTFL Certified Tester Foundation Level – Test Management Part 3
April 13, 2023

5. Test Planning

A test plan is the project plan for the testing work to be done in development or mentors projects, planning is influenced by many factors. For example, planning is influenced by the test policy or strategy of the organization, the development life cycle, the scope of testing, objectives, risks, constraints, criticality, and the availability of resources. Having a test plan guides our thinking, use as a vertical for communication with other members of the project team, testers peers, managers and other stakeholders and also help us manage a change. A test plan ensures that there is initially a list of tasks and milestones in a baseline plan to track progress against, as well as defining the shape and size of the test effort. Any plan in the world should contain at least what to do, when, how, by whom, how to manage a change in the plan and how to track the progress of the plan and how much it will cost.

If your plan doesn’t contain all these elements within the plan, then there’s something missing. In small projects, your test plan could be a single paper. In larger projects, you might find it useful to write multiple test plans for different test levels. So you would have a test plan for unit testing, another plan for integration testing, another for system testing and another for acceptance testing and a master plan to according to the work between the different plans.

In the unit testing plan, for example, you would have what to be done, when, how, by whom, how to manage the changes and how to track the progress of the plan according to whoever is doing the unit testing. In the system testing plan, you would have again what to be done, when, how, by whom, how much, how to manage the changes and how to track the progress of the plan, and so on. You can even have separate test plans for test types such as usability testing and performance testing. We find that using a template when writing test plans help us remember the important challenges. You can use a test plan template from either standard 29 1119 three or you can use someone else’s template or create your own template. Over time, as a project and test planning progress, more information becomes available and more detail can be included in the test plan.

That’s why tested planning is a continuous activity, so it’s very normal to replant if things didn’t work out. Feedback from test activities should be used to recognize the changing risks so that planning can be adjusted. As risks and changes occur. The plan should be adjusted to reflect the current position or current situation. Test Planning Activity Test managers put a lot of effort to create the test plan. They have to go through various activities and communicate with different stakeholders to book the plan. Test planning activities may include the following and some of these may be documented in the test plan identifying and agreeing on the objectives of testing.

This will enable us to know if we have reached our objectives or not yet. Determine the scope and the risks that need to be tested putting together the overall approach of testing, ensuring that the test levels and entry and exit criteria are defined, coordinating with the project manager and making sure that the testing activities have been included within the software lifecycle activities in the correct sequence and dependency decide what needs to be tested, what roles are involved and who will perform the test activities, deciding how the test results will be evaluated and how test activities will be carried out, and so on.

Scheduling of test analysis, design, implementation, execution and evaluation activities either on particular dates, for example, in sequential development or in the context of each iteration, for example, in Iterative development. Selecting metrics for measuring and controlling the project budgeting for the test activities determining the level of detail and structure for test documentation, for example, by providing templates or example documents. The content of test plans vary and can extend beyond the topics identified before. Sample test plans can be found in either Standard I E 29 1193. Other important element of the test plan is defining the entry and exit criteria for testing, which we will talk about in the next video.

6. Entry and Exit Criteria

Anti criteria, which is more typically called Definition of Ready in Agile Development, defines the reconditions for undertaking a given test activity. This could include the beginning of a level of testing when test design or when test execution is ready to start. If any criteria are not met, it’s likely that the activity will move much more difficult, more time consuming, more costly and more risky. You can define different entry criteria for different test activities. Typical entry criteria include availability of testable requirements, user stories and or models, for example, when following a model based testing strategy availability of test items that have met the exit criteria for any barrier test levels, availability of test environment and readiness, availability of necessary test tools, availability of test data and other necessary resources.

On the other hand, we have heard the term exit criteria before in the test process. In the first section, exit criteria are used to determine when a given test activity has been completed or when it should stop. Exit criteria, which is more typically called Definition of Done in Agile Development define what conditions must be achieved in order to declare a test level or a set of tests completed. Typical exit criteria include blend tests have been executed, a defined level of coverage, for example, of requirements, user stories, acceptance criteria, rests, code has been achieved. The number of unresolved defects is within an agreed limit. The number of estimated remaining defects is sufficiently low. The evaluated levels of reliability, performance efficiency, usability, security and other relevant aquatic characteristics are sufficient even without exit criteria being satisfied.

It’s also common for test activities to be cut due to the budget being expanded, the scheduled time being completed and or pressure to bring the product to market. It can be acceptable to end the testing under such circumstances if the project stakeholders and business owners have reviewed and accepted the risk to go live without further testing. Entry and exit criteria should be defined for each test level and each test type and will differ based on the test objectives. Remember that according to the test bosses that when we reach the exit criteria, the tester should provide a report of his findings to the test manager or the stakeholders to decide if the testing should continue or stop. Let me give you an example to make the overall picture more clear.

Imagine you are testing the performance of a specific web page. You want this web page response time to be 6 seconds. Therefore, when a user loads the page, it should be loaded within maximum 6 seconds. To measure the response time accurately, you need to rent a performance tool and you only have a budget of $500. But you must approve the budget for this first. So the anti criteria to start the testing would be the budget to get approved. The past criteria of the test would be to pass the 6 seconds. The exit criteria would be to spend the whole $500. So as you see from this example that we can reach the exit criteria which is penned the $500, but the item might fail the test because its response time is say 8 seconds, which is greater than the expected 6 seconds. In this case, the tester should write a summary review board to the stakeholders indicating his findings and that the page response time is only 8 seconds. The decision makers then should decide if they should continue testing and maybe ask for more money for the testing activity or if they are happy with the 8 seconds result and will stop the testing at this point.

7. Test Execution Schedule

Once the various test cases and test procedures are produced. With some test procedures potentially automated and assembled into a test suites. The test suites can be arranged in a test execution schedule that defines the order in which they are to be run. The test execution schedule should take into account such factors as barrierisation dependencies, confirmation tests, regression tests and the most efficient sequence for executing the tests. Generally, on your day to day work you should be effective and efficient. For example, if I told you that we have three test cases add record, delete record, modify record, and Brent record, if you decided to try Add, Delete, Add, modify them Brent then this is not efficient. You tested the Add record twice for no reason. Why? If you decided to try Add, Record, Modify, Brent then Delete, then that’s the best solution.

Why is the best solution? Because when you’re done running your test suite the database for the records is left as it is. Before you start testing. The records that you needed to add is deleted so the database is clean. If you haven’t deleted the record for any reason then your database will get bigger and bigger each time you try to run such test suite. Ideally, test cases would be ordered to run based on their priority levels, usually by executing the test cases with the highest priority first. However, this practice may not work if the test cases have dependencies or if the features being tested have dependencies. If a test case with a higher priority is dependent on a test case with a lower priority, the lower priority test case must be executed first.

As simple as that. In our previous example, we would say that the brand Delete or Modify record are dependent on the Add record. Expect questions in the exam asking you to order or sequence distances, boating into consideration, biology, dependency and maybe other factors. So always start with the test cases with the highest priority and then put the dependency into consideration. Similarly, if there are dependencies across test cases they must be ordered appropriately regardless of their relative priorities. Confirmation and regression tests must be prioritized I’d as well based on the importance of rabbit feedback on changes. But here again, dependencies may apply. In some cases, various sequences of tests are possible with differing levels of efficiency associated with those sequences. In such cases, trade offs between efficiency of test execution versus adherence to paratrization must be made. Let’s look an example to get a better idea.

The following table shows six test procedures p to you that must now be entered into a test execution schedule. Business severity is regarded as the most important element in determining the sequence of the test procedures, but other dependencies must also be taken into consideration. Regulation testing can be run once all other tests have completed. Which of the following represents the most effective sequence for the test execution schedule? Where the first entry in the sequence is the first procedure to run. The second entry is the second to be run, and so on. And we have four options for answers. If we look at the table, we have three factors here to consider priority dependency and regulation. Regression test cases should be considered lost. The test cases with the highest priority are Q and R. Q is a regulation only test case, so ignore it for now.

R is good, but dependent on S. S is not dependent on anything. So we should consider S first. Only after S, we can consider R. So either answer option B or D is correct. The following priority test case is to consider S and T. We already considered S and T. We already considered S. And T is regression only, so we have nothing to do here. The following priority to consider p and U. B will be delivered late. Then we should consider U first. So we have SR, u and B so far. So the correct answer is D. The remaining list of cases are Q and T, which admission only tests and should be taken according to their priority. So q then t will be considered. I feel that such questions are more IQ questions, not testing questions. So it’s all up to you here and up to your IQ. Not only.

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