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Differences Between Test Strategy, Test Plan and Test Case

test strategy and test plan

Software checking is a lot more complicated process than it seems alike. When it comes to software quality assurance, there are a lot many terminologies you have to deal. Like, test case, test plan, and test strategy. Let’s see what the terms means.

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So what exactly is Test Case, Test Plan, and Test Strategy ?

A test case is a series of conditions against which the software is checked to see if it satisfies all requirements and works as desired.

The test lead or manager creates a test plan. Its primary goal is to contain all necessary information about required while testing, which includes what to test, when and how to test, who will test the software. The test plan remains the same throughout but is changed when there is a modification in the software or something new is added.

On the other hand, a test strategy is a complicated document that informs the test how to approach the software while testing it. It is created by a business analyst or a project manager. The test strategy document is more of a standard record and isn’t changed quite often.

Now that the meanings are clear, let’s move onto the differences between differences between test case, test plan, and test strategy:

1. What it contains

Test case

It is a sequence of steps that help the testers to test the software and changes from software to software. It includes environment, condition, expected and actual results, and whether the software failed the test or not. Mostly, enterprise test management software is used to manage the case and the process.

Test plan

A test plan contains a lot of things including features to be tested, techniques, Test plan id, testing tasks, pass or fail criteria, responsibilities, test deliverables, and schedule of the best.

Test strategy

It consists of documentation formats, objectives and scope, test processes, client communication strategy, and team reporting structure.

2. Who conducts it?

Test case

It is usually the software developer that writes the test case.

Test plan

It is conducted by a testing manager or someone who describes how, when, how, and who will test the software.

Test strategy

It is usually the project manager that carries out the test strategy. It contains everything from the type of technique to be used to which module needs to be tested.

3. Narration

Test case

It merely narrates the sequence of the test.

Test plan

The plan narrates the specification.

Test strategy 

It narrates the general approaches.

4. Modification

Test case

It is not usually changed, but if there is a significant change in the software, a few steps are added or removed from the sequence.

Test plan

A test plan can change since it is conducive to a modification of the software.

Test strategy

A test strategy is never changed because it is a static document and remains the same for all records.

5. Purpose of the process

Test case

Validate the functionality of the software.

Test plan

It is used to determine the possible dependencies and issues to identify the risks.

Test strategy

It is a long-term project. A test strategy doesn’t change from one software to another. Therefore it is used to abstract information from software and use it for test approach.

6. Level of use

Test case

It is a relatively stable concept and one test case can be used for numerous projects.

Test plan

It is used at the project level, therefore can be used only for one project.

Test strategy

A test strategy is used at an organizational level and can be used across multiple projects.

Let’s take a look at how a test case, test plan, and test strategy are written:

  1. Test case

  • Think of a strong title

  • Add a description

  • Write down assumptions and preconditions

  • Add the test steps now. Make sure that the steps are mentioned explicitly and in a concise manner

  • Mention the expected results

  • Make sure that the test case you make it reusable so that the software testing team doesn’t need to create a new one for every software

  1. Test plan

  • Any test plan first starts with analyzing the software. Ask yourself questions including who will use the software, purpose of making it, and you want it to work.

  • Design your test strategy. It is constant across all software, so you only have to modify it slightly

  • Write down test objectives

  • Define test criteria

  • Conduct resource planning

  • Plan the software’s test environment

  • Develop schedule and estimation

  • Determine the result of the plan

app testing

  1. Test strategy
  • Write down objectives for your test strategy

  • Mention the test guidelines

  • Decide your test approach

  • Mention the tester’s roles and responsibilities

  • Write down all levels of testing

  • Mention the functional specifications, test scenarios, and acceptance criteria

  • Mention the entry and exit criteria

  • Write guidelines about what to do when a defect is identified

  • Test results

  • Provide information about migration procedures and environment information

  • Mention constraints of the test

  • Include risks of the software and how to solve them

However, all these three concepts are interdependent and work only when each one is present. A test case is used in the test strategy which in turn is used in the test plan. They might be developed or performed by different people, but the test result is cumulative of all their input.

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