Test Plans

A test plan usually is a hierarchically-structured document that describes the test requirements and contains the statements, 4Test scripts, and test cases that implement the test requirements. A test plan is displayed in an easy-to-read outline format, which lists the test requirements in high-level prose descriptions. The structure can be flat or many levels deep.

Indentation and color indicate the level of detail and various test plan elements. Large test plans can be divided into a master plan and one or more sub-plans. A test plan file has a .pln extension, such as find.pln.

Structuring your test plan as an hierarchical outline provides the following advantages:
  • Assists the test plan author in developing thoughts about the test problem by promoting and supporting a top-down approach to test planning.
  • Yields a comprehensive inventory of test requirements, from the most general, through finer and finer levels of detail, to the most specific.
  • Allows the statements that actually implement the tests to be shared by group descriptions or used by just a single test description.
  • Provides reviewers with a framework for evaluating the thoroughness of the plan and for following the logic of the test plan author.
  • If you are using the test plan editor, the first step in creating automated tests is to create a test plan. If you are not using the test plan editor, the first step is creating a test frame.