Academic and Student Affairs

Execution – Test Plan



The Test Planning Checklist is a tool to assist in creating an overall test plan for the project. This process does not address the creation of the specific test cases. The accepting team (e.g., Production Support) should be involved in the risk assessment and test prioritization activities.


  • Requirements Specifications (for test planning and test design).
  • Design specification (for test design).
  • (Optimally) Complete description of testable deliverables, with change summary.
  • (Optimally) Risk assessment of testable deliverables.


  • Test Strategy and Plan: tests (or test groups) documented and prioritized, test environment needs identified, test processes documented.
  • Tests (or test groups) mapped to requirements and deliverables.
  • Acceptance criteria for exiting test phase.
  • Reusable risk assessment and regression test descriptions for testable deliverables.
  • Test results summary and product test repository (after test execution).




1. Identify the testable deliverables. If not already done, make a list of new, changed or obsoleted deliverables, with a summary of the change. Also identify any components affected by the changed deliverables. Share this Project Items list with the accepting team (e.g., Production Support). Project Manager / Test Manager
2. Gather supporting information for each Project Item, such as system, component type, when it runs, test environment needs, any existing test documentation, etc. Development Lead
3. Do a risk analysis. If not already done, determine the risk (High, Medium, Low) for each Project Item if it fails in production. Assign risk regardless of the changes being made. This risk assignment can be used for future projects. Development Lead /  Production Support
4. Plan the test coverage.  Decide how much testing is ‘enough’ for each Project Item. High-risk items will require more testing than low-risk items. Project Manager / Test Manager
5. Plan the tests. For each Project Item, group of Project Items, functional areas, etc. (e.g., system interfaces, security tests), describe how to verify it (e.g., parallel run, specific business rule testing). Add more details in the form of test cases as needed. Review the tests with the accepting team. Test Manager
6. Map tests to requirements and deliverables. Create a mapping of tests to the project’s requirements, to help determine if the requirements have been met. (Examples of a Traceability Matrix).
For projects with multiple tests for deliverables, create a mapping of tests to the Project Items to help determine if every item being deployed to production has been adequately tested. Group and prioritize the tests based on the risk levels of the deliverables they verify. In general, tests for high-risk items should have a higher priority.
Test Manager
7. Plan the test environment. Determine what’s needed in the environment to do these tests (e.g., specific server types, copy of production data, DMS II databases, etc.). Document any environment-dependent changes which need to be made for testing (e.g., hard-coded email addresses or test servers). See the Test Environment section of the Test Planning Checklist for more details. Test Manager
8. Plan the test processes. Decide how (and by whom) defects will be captured, prioritized, and tracked (e.g., in the project tracking database, or in a separate bug tracking database like RT or TestTrack); decide what to do with outstanding bugs at the end of the project. Decide how (and by whom) tests will be run and tracked.  Decide how (and by whom) the test environments will be managed, and how production changes will be incorporated into the test environment.  Decide how any changes to project scope will be managed. Test Manager
9. Run the tests. Execute the tests planned in step 5.  Several iterations of testing should be expected as defects are found, resolved, and retested, and as each subsequent testing phase is started (Integration, System, Alpha, Beta, Pilot, etc.). Tester
10. Track the tests and test results. Keep track of what tests have been run and whether they were successful; Use the mapping from step 6 to keep track of the requirements and Project Items, and their test coverage. Keep track of defects found and resolved. Test Manager
11. Summarize the testing. Prepare a summary of the test results (pass/fail) and outstanding issues. The unresolved defects should be included in the the Project Closure Report. Project Manager / Test Manager
12. Create a test repository. If a test repository for the product does not exist, create one. Make any corrections needed, then package and store tests and data that can be reused for future regression testing in the repository. Tester