Test Plans - Structuring an outline
Structuring an outline
Group Descriptions The other descriptive lines in an outline are called
group descriptions, because they describe a group of tests, not a single test.
For example, in the sample plan shown above, the single descriptive line
describes a group of eight tests and the descriptive line
describes a group of four tests. Group descriptions by default are
displayed in black.
Scope In addition to test descriptions and group descriptions, a testplan also
contains the QA Organizer statements that implement the test requirements.
The scope of a statement refers to the portion of the testplan where the
statement applies. A statement placed at the group description level applies to
all the test descriptions contained by the group. Conversely, a statement
placed at the test description level applies only to that test description. Levels
in QA Organizer are represented by indentation, and you change the level of
a line by using the Outline/Move Left and the Outline/Move Right
commands, both of which have keyboard, tool bar, and popup menu
There are four significant benefits to structuring a testplan as a hierarchical
outline. An outline:
Assists the testplan author in developing thoughts about the test problem,
by promoting and supporting a top-down approach to test planning
Yields a comprehensive inventory of test requirements, from the most
general, through finer and finer levels of detail, to the most specific
Allows the QA Organizer statements that actually implement the tests to
be shared by group descriptions or used by just a single test description
Provides reviewers with a framework for evaluating the thoroughness of
the plan and for following the logic of the testplan author
Structuring an outline
Because there are many ways to organize information, you can structure a
QA Organizer outline using as few or as many levels of detail as you feel are
necessary. To demonstrate the variety of organizational options, this section
presents a series of sample plans, each of which adds successive levels of
description to the outline.
Note that for completeness, each of the plans also shows the script and
testcase statements that link the descriptions to the 4Test scripts and testcases
that implement the test requirements, though how to establish these links is
not described until "Linking the testplan to scripts and testcases" on page 61.