Have you ever heard during your work the phrase “test plan”? or maybe you came across the term “test case”? There are many complicated expressions in the professional jargon of the software testing world that you need to be familiar with. In order to help you understand better, we are about to review the differences between the Test Plan and the Test Case.

Test plan VS Test Case

Definition of Test Plan

When product managers or QA managers create a test plan, they are creating an in-depth document that contains all the meaningful aspects of the whole testing project from a higher point of view. In many test plans, you could find features such as schedule, scope, potential risks, staff responsibilities, defect and bugs reporting, and more.

As a result of the wide variety of sections it includes, the test plan is also relevant to other departments in the company that need to follow the progress of the project. Since the project life cycle is dynamic, this file has to be updated regularly as long as the project is in the working process.

Definition of Test Case

When testers and testing team leaders want to examine a particular feature in the software, creating a test case is their answer to control this specific testing process. Typically, test cases will include precise and focused testing elements for instance test steps, test data, test environment, intended test results, real test results, test status, etc.

Due to the fact that the test case is a concentrated and accurate document, it is created to serve only the testing teams with the intention to track and monitor different aspects of a specific test.

Benefits of Test Plan

  • An up-to-date document that accompanies the teams till the end of the project.
  • Used to control the whole testing process within the testing teams.
  • Keeps the management and other departments aligned with the process of the testing teams.
  • Contain the history of the testing that has already finished.

Benefits of Test Case

  • Provide an example of how the software should function in a specific test.
  • Ensure testing teams aren’t missing any important steps in the testing process.
  • Enable testing team managers to divide the workload and help testers understand their daily assignments.
  • Allows identifying bugs and problems that are not anticipated in advance.

Comparison between Test Plan and Test Case

Key Attributes Test Plan Test Case
General A large detailed document that covers management aspects and testing aspects in the entire testing project. Specific and precise document for a particular testing feature that covers only testing aspects.
Intended to Testers, test leaders, managers, stakeholders, and other departments need to be updated about the testing process. Only testing teams and test leaders.
Sections Both testing and project managing aspects like schedule, scope, potential risks, staff responsibilities, bugs reporting, and more. Only testing aspects such as test steps, test data, test environment, intended test results, real test results, test status, etc
Duration Till the end of the whole testing project Till the end of the particular testing process.
Benefits
  • An up-to-date document that is used till the end of the project.
  • Control the whole testing process.
  • Keeps everyone aligned.
  • Contain the testing history.
  • Providing an example to the desired results.
  • Ensure testers aren’t missing important steps.
  • Help testers understand their daily assignments.
  • Allows identifying unexpected bugs.

Summary

To sum things up, the terminology in the world of testing includes a variety of phrases that are a key part of this world and as a tester, you have to be able to understand those terms. In this article, we described what Test Plan and Test Case are, reviewed their contribution to the testers and the organization, and compared these two documents.

As we learned, Test Plan and a Test Case are both meaningful and important files that are recommended to be in use in every testing team in particular and in companies in general. Additionally to test plan and test case, test management tools like PractiTest could assist you and your team in tracing and easily navigate through different tests in order to manage and control the testing process more effectively.

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