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Developing a Test Strategy

Overview
This is the first of two documents on testing. The first is published in February 2006 and the second will be published in March. The purpose of these documents is to provide an outline of how to take the concept of User Acceptance Testing, and turn it into a tested product ready to go live. There are a number of steps to be undertaken along the way, and this white paper will provide a guide as to how and why it should happen in a certain sequence.
As with most undertakings, there is no absolute right way. We do not promote this as the only way to do the work. It is promoted however as the work you should do to improve your chances of getting it right.
Unfortunately, many organisations want to make commercial gain from a relatively straight forward process. In order to do this they create a world of jargon that you need to attend one of their training programs to understand. They create tools that support only their way of doing business. They lock you into a certain path that needs consulting support. By following the process outlined here, training, consulting and tools become options rather than mandatory.

Testing Steps
Looking at UAT from a high level, there are a few basic steps that need to be undertaken:

 

Step

Description

Test Strategy

Decide how we are going to approach the testing in terms of people, tools, procedures and support

Test Scenarios

What are the situations we want to test

Test Scripts

What are the actual inputs we will use? What are the expected results?

Test Strategy
Why do a Test Strategy? The Test Strategy is the plan for how you are going to approach testing. It is like a project charter that tells the world how you are going to approach the project. You may have it all in your head, and if you are the only person doing the work it might be OK. If however you do not have it all in your head, or if others will be involved, you need to map out the ground rules.
Here are some of the things that need to be covered in a Test Strategy. You could use this as a template for your own strategy.

Project Name

Overview
Testing stage Instructions:
Identify the type of testing to be undertaken.
Example:
User Acceptance Testing
Scheduled for Example:
01.04.06 to 15.04.06
Location Example:
Testing will be carried out in the Test Center on Level X
Participants Instructions:
Identify who will be involved in the testing. If resources have not been
nominated, outline the skills required.
Example:
Testing Manager – J. Smith
2 Testers – To be nominated. The skills required are:
• Broad understanding of all the processes carried out by the accounts receivable area.
• Should be familiar with manual processes currently undertaken for reversing payments.
• Preferably spent time dealing with inquiries from customers over the phone
• Etc.

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