IEEE 829 Test Plan



A popular template for Test Plan preparation is the format specified by the IEEE 829 standard for Software Test Documentation.

Before we look at the contents of the template, we should bear in mind that templates are broad guidelines which should not lead to users of the template to stop thinking and focus on just filling up the blanks in the template document. While using the template, one should understand the organization's requirements and evaluate if the template fits your specific requirements or needs any modifications. Sticking to the stock template may result in some information which needs to be captured being left out.

With that short note, lets look at the template itself. The IEE 829 Test plan template includes
the following sections.
  • Test plan identifier : A unique name by which the test plan may be identified and may include version information
  • Introduction : Summary of the test plan, including type of testing, level of testing (master test plan, component test plan, unit test plan ...), any references to other documents, scope of testing and so on
  • Test items : The artifacts that will be tested
  • Features to be tested : The features or items of the specification that will be tested
  • Features not to be tested : The features or items part of the specification that will not be tested
  • Approach : Addresses “how” the testing will be performed
  • Item pass/fail criteria : This could be viewed as the criteria for completion of testing per this plan.
  • Suspension criteria and resumption requirements : List the criterion for pausing or resumption of testing
  • Test deliverables : The artifacts created by the testing team that will be delivered as per this plan. Examples include - test cases, test design specifications, output from tools, test reports, etc.
  • Testing tasks : The testing tasks involved, their dependencies if any, time they will take and resource requirements
  • Environmental needs : List needs such as hardware, software and other environmental requirements for testing
  • Responsibilities : List the people responsible for the various parts of the plan
  • Staffing and training needs : The people & skill sets needed to carry out the test activities
  • Schedule : List the schedule dates when testing will take place. A safe bet is to tie the schedule to the development schedule in a relative manner without listing hard dates since slippages upstream in development will mean that testing slips correspondingly. Hard dates would result in any development slippages causing compression of testing time.
  • Risks and contingencies : Identify the risks, likelihood and impact as well as possible mitigation steps
  • Approvals : Sign-off by the stakeholders denoting agreement
For a more detailed look at the IEEE 829 Test plan, view this comprehensive article - http://www.techmanageronline.com/2010/02/ieee-std-829-software-test-plan-ieee.html 
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