Test Plan vs Test Strategy - Basics of QA

by Smitesh Singh, on Mar 24, 2022 5:22:52 PM

Testing is the most critical as well as complicated part of the software development lifecycle. It fosters a bug-free and smooth working environment for an app by iterating through various extreme case scenarios where an app is expected to behave in a certain way. It is very much possible for developers in these scenarios, to overlook certain aspects that may end up causing the app to behave abruptly or fail altogether. It is therefore important that a proven methodology of testing be adhered to, while it is done. There are various steps to the QA process. Two primary and the very first ones include Test planning and Test Strategy. These two concepts are often misinterpreted or thought of as the same thing. However, the two steps fulfill two very different needs of a testing process. In this blog, we will take a look at what these are :


Test Plan:

Test planning is the process of enlisting the elements in an app that need to be tested and the process that will be followed while testing it. A document describes these details along with the actions to be performed while testing the process. Some elements of this description include a description of the project, a detailing of the risk, etc. There are a few different types of test plans that can be devised during the QA process. Below is a list of them:

  • Level-based: In this, test planning is done for all levels of testing such as unit, acceptance, and integration testing
  • Type-based: In this, test planning is done for every kind of testing such as functional, load, and security
  • Master testing: In this test planning, a high-level testing plan document is created. This consists of level-based as well as type-based planning along with the guidelines for the QA

Components of a test plan

In general, a good test plan includes:

  • Project details
  • Team details
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • List of deliverables
  • Definition of what's done
  • List of possible risks
  • Testing scope
  • Tools to be used in testing 
  • Testing itinerary

A Test Strategy: 

The test strategy includes working with an approach rather than creating a document. An effective strategy for QA of a mobile app is a document that contains high-level details of the QA procedure. The primary goal of this strategy is to provide recommendations on the testing approach along with an explanation for the end goal of each activity throughout the test process. This document remains the same throughout the process and this becomes one of the primary differentiators of test strategy. A test plan is dynamic and can be changed on the go or as needed. There are numerous strategy types. Some of them are mentioned below:

  • Analytical
  • Consultative
  • Model-based
  • Reactive
  • Methodological 
  • Anti-regressive
All of the above QA strategies differ based on their goals, and are used according to the contemporary requirements.

Components of a test strategy

Since a test strategy is a more general and high-level document, its composition slightly differs from the one of a test plan. It features:

  • Project highlights
  • Requirements - application and functional scope
  • Required test coverage
  • Testing approach 
  • Test environment
  • Communication & status updates
  • Testing deliverables
  • Risks and their mitigation mechanisms
  • Project acceptance criteria 
  • Bug reporting & monitoring


QA is the most important part of a software development process. Without testing how the app performs, the app is only bound to fail in case a bug or performance issue is encountered. To get your QA process right, you need to have an alliance with a good software development and testing company that can thoroughly understand your business needs and drive a test plan and strategy that will speed up the development time lowering costs considerably. 

Topics:Application Development

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