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Overall test plan guide

CONTENTS

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4.1.Test policies

Use this topic to consider on policies for overall testing based on the requirements and constraints of the tests.
When considering on these, consider factors outside the test phase, such as constraints of the project as a whole and how to balance testing with other phases in terms of cost and schedule. This will enable efficient testing.
The test policies you consider on at this point will be used as the basis for considering on details such as “4.2.Position of test phases” and “4.8.Schedule“.

4.3.Coverage policies” explains the process for considering how comprehensive the verification performed by the tests will be, as the time at which this consideration-making starts varies.

Overview of points to be considered

Define policies for the overall test phase.
Make sure the policies are achievable.

Relationship between this topic and other topics in the overall test plan

This topic is mainly related to the following topics as shown below.

Consideration method

Summary

  1. Collect and organize information on initial conditions for the test phase (requirements and constraints)
  2. Define policies about quality, cost, schedule and scope of testing
  3. Define other policies
  4. Organize prerequisites

Details

✓1. Collect and organize information on initial conditions for the test phase (requirements and constraints)

Collect and information on initial conditions about the requirements and constraints of the testing phase from sources such as the project plan or requirement definitions.

  • Quality requirements that must be met throughout the overall testing phase
  • Information on costs allocated for the overall testing phase
  • Information on the time period allocated for the overall testing phase (start date and finish date)
  • Information on the scope of testing (general principles and entire scope of development)
  • Constraints that the project must meet
    (see the reference information for examples of elements to be considered)
  • Information on importance (priority order)
    (e.g. whether quality, cost or schedule is the highest priority and the elements of quality that require the greatest focus)

However, be conscious that the initial conditions being addressed at this stage are the initial conditions for considering the test policies.
It may be necessary to discuss changes to the initial conditions with the stakeholders when considering on test policies.

✓2. Define policies about quality, cost, schedule and scope of testing

Consider on policies about quality, cost, schedule and scope of testing.
These four elements are a tradeoff, so they need to be considered at the same time in order to establish policies that make sense in the context of the project.
(For example, expanding the scope of testing will increase the costs and time required for testing).
Use the workflow below as a guide for consideration-making.

  1. Do a trial calculation of the costs and schedule.
    Do a trial calculation of the money and schedule need to achieve the quality and scope of testing that the initial conditions call for.

    • Quality
      • Select the test type that will guarantee the quality required by the initial conditions.
      • Select the test type by tailoring the test types described in “the test type catalog” used as a reference.
        Also refer to the guide in “Catalog of test types and perspectives” that is used as a reference and in “4.2.Position of test phases“.
    • Scope of testing
      • As per the information on the scope of testing in the initial conditions.
        You will consider on specific details later in “4.4.Scope of testing“.
    • Cost
      • Do a trial calculation of the approximate cost based on the quality requirements and scope of testing in the initial conditions.
      • The following points need to be considered along with the approximate cost if relevant.
        • High volumes of test data or tests that are difficult to create
        • Test environments that are difficult to build
        • Deliverables for the client that have a large volume or many types (evidence, etc.)
        • Test results that need to be reported in a lot of detail (quality indicators for analysis, etc.)
        • In the case of maintenance development, Existing deliverables with low quality
        • In the case of maintenance development, Affects a large scope
        • Personnel who do not know much about the test targets or work
        • Cases in which personnel need to learn about the test targets or how to use the automated tools before starting work
    • Schedule
      • Do a trial calculation of the approximate schedule based on the approximate cost and the quality requirements and scope of testing in the initial conditions.
      • When doing a trial calculation of the schedule, consider the order in which the different types of tests will be conducted and whether they can be conducted concurrently or simultaneously.
  2. Determine viability and adjust the conditions to remove gaps
    Verify viability based on the calculated cost and schedule.
    If there are any gaps between the calculated cost or schedule and the initial conditions, adjust the conditions to remove the gaps.

    • Verifying viability
      • Is the plan realistic?
      • Are there enough cost and schedule buffers to absorb risks?
      • Are the stakeholders likely to agree to the plan?
    • Adjusting the conditions to remove gaps
      1. Adjust the costs and schedule of the overall testing phase.
        This could be done by making the following adjustments.

        • Reduce the test evidence
        • Have the stakeholders conduct testing
        • Change the order of the tests
        • Conduct tests concurrently
        • Use testing tools
          (note that this may increase costs or lengthen the schedule depending on the man-hours required for training the team members or the cost of purchasing the tools)
        • Assign team members with enough operational knowledge
        • Reuse test data
      2. Adjust the costs and schedule of the project.
        This could be done by making the following adjustments.

        • Change the proportion of costs allocated to the testing phase
        • Arrange to start the testing phase earlier
      3. Change or adjust the initial conditions on discussion with the stakeholders.
        This could be done by making the following adjustments.

        • Conduct fewer types of tests
        • Increase the budget
        • Extend the deadline or release the product in stages
        • Reduce the scope of testing
  3. Define test policies related to quality, cost, schedule and scope of testing.
    Define test policies based on the considerations you have made so far.

    • Determine the specific details of the policies, along with their rationale and how they were established.
      This is necessary so that the stakeholders agree on the test policies with no misunderstandings.
    • Check that the test policies suit the business objectives and goals.
      Like all the activities in the project, the tests are conducted to achieve business objectives and targets.
      It is therefore necessary to make sure that the test policies defined here suit those objectives and goals.

✓3. Define other policies

Consider on other policies that need to be defined based on points such as the characteristics of the project.
(See the reference information for examples of elements to be considered.)

✓4. Organize prerequisites

Organize prerequisites for the policies you have considered on.

  • Define prerequisites and indicate that the overall test plan will be changed if these prerequisites change.
    • Also indicate the approval process for changes to the overall test plan. Matters related to the overall test plan as a document will be considered in “5. Position of overall test plan“.
  • Examples of prerequisites
    • The specifications must be finalized by (month/year).
    • The required environment must be available for exclusive use from (month/year) to (month/year).

Reference

  • Examples of constraint conditions to be considered to have been provided as a reference.
    • Who
      • Team structure/roles
    • What
      • Test environments
      • Test data
      • Scope of testing
    • When
      • Test period
    • Where
      • Location of testing
    • How
      • Methods for preparing test data and conducting tests
  • The following are examples of factors to be considered in “Other Policies” for reference.
    Check the project plan and project operation procedures first, as this information is often specified in those documents.

    • Quality indicators
      • Example: Compile quality indicators for XX and use them to improve future processes.
    • Deliverables
      • Example: More efficient creation of documents as a result of applying internal standards for formats.
    • Security
      • Example: Policies on the handling of data in the production environment (data to be masked, management methods, methods for handling data after use, etc.)

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