QW2K Tutorial E1

Mr. Ross Collard
(Collard & Company)

Test Planning



Writing effective test plans is an essential survival skill for testing & QA professionals. The objective of this workshop is to develop the participants' skills in developing system test plans. The core of the workshop is hands-on practice, where the participants actually draft a test plan for a realistic case study.

Workshop Description

The case study for this workshop begins: "Congratulations! (Or condolences.) You have just been appointed the test team leader for a new, mission-critical project for your organization. The application uses client/server, Web and data base technology. This application and the situation background are described in the next few pages. The senior managers are confident you will do a good job, and have asked you to give them a detailed presentation on how you will proceed. Your presentation has been scheduled for NEXT WEEK. What will you tell them???"

Target Audience

Systems testers & quality assurance professionals, at the beginning to intermediate levels, and also systems analysts and designers, software engineers and programmers, project leaders, auditors, and users who are involved in systems testing.

Instructional Approach

This workshop shows the participants how to: o Analyze real-world test situations. o Identify and understand the key issues the test planner needs to master, in developing the test plan. o Develop workable test plans with a reasonable assurance of test coverage and reliability.

In small teams, participants work on a series of real-life test planning scenarios based on the case study. For each scenario, we will go through four steps: (a) the instructor explains the techniques which are most likely to apply and introduces the exercise, (b) each group develops its solution, (c) the group reviews and critiques a suggested model answer, and (d) the entire class compares results and discusses the issues from the exercise. We know that having fun and testing are a strange mix of concepts in one sentence, but the intention is to both learn and have some fun too.


The core of the workshop is writing a draft of a test plan, in a series of exercises. These exercises take 20 to 30 minutes each, and each one is followed by review and discussion by the entire class. The questions addressed by each team in the series of exercises are as follows:

Author Bio...

Ross Collard is a consultant who specializes in software testing & QA. Currently, he is working as a testing consultant for American Express, AT&T, Cisco, General Electric, IBM, Intel and Lucent.

Ross Collard has been a keynote speaker for several national and international conferences on software testing and quality assurance. He has conducted seminars for businesses, governments and universities, including George Washington, Harvard and New York Universities, MIT, U.C. Berkeley and UCLA.

He has a BE in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Zealand (where he grew up), an MS in Computer Science from the California Institute of Technology and an MBA from Stanford University. His set of books on software testing is due to be published next year.