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Optional Components of the Test Strategy Document

Addressing the major areas I’ve just discussed leads to more questions that a test strategy might consider:

  • Software testing approach. A conversational tone can be useful here—how do you see the testing being conducted?
  • Feature overview. Outline the product being built. At this point, I often identify the type of testing that will be conducted, and list the features and the testing in a table format.
  • Test planning activities. If other test planning activities will be part of the schedule or project, identify those activities at this point, so that these tasks aren’t missed during estimate building. Some examples include formal risk analysis, trace matrixes, and tool purchases and implementations.

Still more topics might be added to the strategy: project estimates, test status reporting, release criteria (including a plan for a release "go/no go" meeting, and details on who will make the release decision, how, and when). In this laundry list of topics, you can see the range of informal to formal strategies, and how brief or full-blown and formal both the planning and the document might need to be. It’s important to calibrate the level of planning and formality to match the needs of the particular project and company.

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