How to Develop a Quality Assurance Plan


The importance of quality assurance in software testing cannot be emphasized enough. This required step in the software development process requires knowledge, planning and execution to develop reliable, maintainable software. Only with the full support of management will your efforts toward software quality be accomplished. Your ability to create a testing strategy greatly enhances your software’s viability. Companies have an entire department of full-time specialists to test their software. The quality companies have a formal methodology to follow this important process. Your company should conduct a structured walk-through review for every step in this process.

Review of the Specifications

  • Technical specifications are created by the systems analysts, business analysts and/or subject matter experts. When these have been approved, the programmers will need to review them to understand and plan how the software will be developed. It is during this development phase that an overall testing strategy, as an integral part of the development effort, will be formulated.

  • Test Plans: The scope of the testing effort is finalized in this step. The selection of a testing tool to track testing and defect resolution is also resolved here. If this system is expected to be long-lived, you should consider the development of a test company.
    Testing is divided into two parts: white box testing and black box testing. White box will test every part of a program, including all of the data paths. Black box testing assumes that the programs function as designed and that testing between modules and the overall system testing is all that remains to be tested. Testing will go from bottom-up: unit tests, interface tests, section tests, system tests, volume and capacity testing and finally into site pilot testing.

  • Test Cases: The programmers should perform the unit testing on individual programs. For each program path and data path, the tester creates written specifications for how to test the program along with expected results. These should be reviewed by the testing team, the business analyst, and a group of development peers to discover errors and omissions in the test cases.

  • Test Execution: The programmers conduct unit testing on individual programs. The test cases will be executed and the results recorded in the testing tool. Documentation of the test results is recorded in the testing tool, and management monitors the progress of testing. Defects or software failures are also recorded. You can have a separate testing group perform programming tests to provide additional program reliability. If there is a defect in the software, the defect is recorded along with documentation and the code is returned to the development group for correction. When several related programs have completed testing, section integration testing is performed. When all of the sections have completed testing, system testing is performed. When system testing is complete, volume and network capacity testing is done. You are then ready to test at your pilot site.
    Management can track the defects and testing progress with the testing tool and reallocate resources to keep on schedule.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can gain additional insights by reading Test Strategy & Planning.

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