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6. Approach

There are four sections for defining the QUALITY of a Test Plan: 2. Introduction, 6. Approach, 7. Item Pass/Fail Criteria, and 9. Test Deliverables.

QUALITY deals with the issues of the quality standards to be applied to the testing plan and not to the software being tested. The plan gives the framework for how the system will be evaluated and under what circumstances it will be released.

The 6. Approach outlines the testing process to be applied and can be considered to have six steps as illustrated in the diagram below. The core four steps are: Develop Tests, Prepare to Test, Run Tests and Review Test Results. These four steps are controlled by Plan Testing and Change Management.

The six stage process of running UAT.

Develop Tests

This involves a number of activities shown in this diagram in order to develop the formal tests required to run any form of testing:

The processes for developing tests for UAT.

Prepare To Test

These are the activities other than developing the tests that are required to allow testing to take place:

Run Tests

Run Tests is about running the tests and recording the results:

Review Test Results

When the tests have been completed then the acceptability of the system is assessed. A simple method is to check how many outstanding Incidents there are and their severity. However this is not sufficient as a simple count of Incidents does not give any idea about their impact on what the organisation wants to achieve with the system. A flawed system which delivers capability to an organisation is much better than a perfect system that does not. Therefore the test results need to be checked and traced to see what effect they have on:

This analysis enables a balanced decision to be made about whether system passes these particular tests and to make recommendations about its use. The results of all this activity are then recorded in a Test Summary Report.

Plan Testing

There are two processes controlling these other four. The first is Plan Testing. This is where the scope, timescale, resources, quality and risk are decided in advance, and kept up to date throughout the UAT, including Entry Criteria and Exit Criteria.

Change Management

The other controlling process is Change Management where an impact analysis is made for any changes for their effect on the system. As it gets nearer the stage of starting testing, or even during it, then changes can have a major influence on how effective the testing will be.

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