5 Essential Components of a Software Test Plan

Any good product manager knows that building a product is 50% creating the program itself, and 50% making sure it runs properly. This is where application testing comes in, which is what software testers usually do.

You can do software testing internally or outsourced, and usually in progression. Once you assess internally that your software is running well, you can subject it to external cloud testing to simulate various conditions, a service provided by firms such as Radview.

But before you even start testing, you need to make sure you do it properly so you do not miss out on any variables. This is where a Software Test Plan comes in. A good Software Test Plan usually has the following components.


In this phase, you determine the overview of the Application Under Test (AUT), and identify the features you wish to test as well as those you want to exclude from the test. This stage will also let you know if there are any dependencies among your testing activities so you know how to sort your tests.


Any good test must start with an objective. You need to understand WHY you are testing in the first place. Examples of objectives are the validation of bug fixes, testing of new features, etc.


Each test should have one section of focus; otherwise, it can prove to be too overwhelming. Some common focus sections include:

  • Security
  • Functionality
  • Usability
  • Reliability
  • Performance
  • Efficiency


In this section, you identify which of the three universally accepted methodologies you plan to apply. The methodologies are:

Black box. In this methodology, testers test the inputs versus their expected outputs regardless of how the inputs transform into outputs. The testers are not concerned with the code, just the logic.

White box. With white box testing, testers look into how they implement business logic by code.

Grey box. This methodology is a mix of the black box and white box testing. You perform this test via black box except for some business critical or vulnerable modules, which you do via white box testing.


Any good software test plan should outline the Who’s, What’s, When’s and How’s.


Testing is a crucial step in developing an application, thus requiring proper planning. Use the fundamental steps outlined in this article to produce a good Software Test Plan.