How To Write Test Strategy? Test Plan vs Test Strategy

How To Design Test Strategy: Ultimate Guide

What is a Test Strategy?

Test strategy is a high-level plan consisting of principles that guide the overall software testing process. It provides a structured approach to the entire QA team, guiding them toward achieving testing objectives in the most efficient way. 


In this article, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of developing a thorough test strategy, explain the differences between the test plan vs test strategy, and even provide a template for you to follow.



See How You Can Unify Your Test Strategy in 1 Tool

What is a Test Strategy Document?

Put simply, the test strategy document is a well-written document that outlines the precise methodology and goals of the testing project. It is an important document for QA teams and is based on actual business requirements. The test strategy document addresses all your questions about what you want to achieve and how you plan to do it in the project.

Why You Need a Test Strategy?

  • Guides the testing effort by providing focus, clarity, and effective risk management.
  • Ensures efficiency, effectiveness, and adherence to standards in testing practices.
  • Promotes better collaboration between members of the QA team.
  • Ensures that all members are aligned on the overall vision of the project.
  • Acts as reference for resource planning and allocation for optimal utilization.
  • Allows you to track progress more efficiently.

Read More: What Is Software Testing? Definition, Types, Tools

Test Plan vs. Test Strategy

The test strategy document gives a higher level perspective than the test plan, and contents in the test plan must be aligned with the direction of the test strategy.   

Test strategy provides general methods for product quality, tailored to different software types, organizational needs. quality policy compliance, and the overall testing approach. The test plan, on the other hand, is created for specific projects, and considers goals, stakeholders, and risks. In Agile development, a master plan for the project can be made, with specific sub-plans for each iteration.  

The table below provides a detailed comparison between the two:  


Test Strategy

Test Plan


Provides a high-level approach, objectives, and scope of testing for a software project

Specifies detailed instructions, procedures, and specific tests to be conducted


Testing approach, test levels, types, and techniques

Detailed test objectives, test cases, test data, and expected results


Stakeholders, project managers, senior testing team members

Testing team members, test leads, testers, and stakeholders involved in testing


Entire testing effort across the project

Specific phase, feature, or component of the software

Level of Detail

Less detailed and more abstract

Highly detailed, specifying test scenarios, cases, scripts, and data


Allows flexibility in accommodating changes in project requirements

Relatively rigid and less prone to changes during the testing phase


Remains relatively stable throughout the project lifecycle

Evolves throughout the testing process, incorporating feedback and adjustments

What To Include in a Test Strategy Document

The following items should be included in the test strategy document:

  • Scope and objectives: Determine the testing tasks and responsibilities, along with their respective timelines. Identify the individuals responsible for approving, reviewing, and utilizing the test strategy document.
  • Testing approach: Establish the testing approaches to be followed (Agile or Waterfall).
  • Testing types to perform: Outline the testing process and its life cycle, including the different testing levels. Specify the types of testing to be conducted, such as regression testing, load testing, security testing, or performance testing.
  • Hardware-software configuration: Define the number of requirements and hardware-software configuration required for each environment. This helps the team make informed decisions on whether they should invest in physical or virtual machines.
  • Testing tools: Select the tools to be utilized for test execution, including commercial, open source, automation, and management tools. Consider the tool's capacity to support the desired number of users, and plan accordingly.
  • Test deliverables: Define what artifacts and documents should be produced during the testing process to communicate the progress and findings of testing activities. As test strategy is a high-level document, you don’t need to go into minute details of each deliverable, but rather only a brief outline of the items that the team wants to create. 
  • Testing measurements and metrics: Establish the key performance indicators (KPI) and success metrics for the project. These metrics will not only be the means to measure the efficiency and quality of the testing process but also provide a common goal and language of communication among team members. Some common testing metrics include test coverage, defect density, defect leakage, or mean time to failure (MTTF). 
  • Risks: List out the potential risks and clear plans to mitigate them, or even contingency plans to adopt in case these risks do show up in reality. Testers generally conduct a level of risk analysis (= probability of it occurring x impact) to see which risk should be addressed in priority. For example, after planning, the team realizes that the timeline is extremely tight, but they are lacking the technical expertise to deliver the objectives. This is a High Probability High Impact scenario, and they must have a contingency plan: either changing the objectives, investing into the team’s expertise, or outsourcing entirely to meet the delivery date.

All of these items in the document should be carefully reviewed by the business team, the QA Lead, and the Development Team Lead. From this document, you will be able to develop detailed test plans for sub-projects, or for each iteration of the sprint.  

Read More: Types of Automation Testing: A Beginner’s Guide


How To Write a Test Strategy Document

When creating a test strategy document, you can create a table with all of the items listed above, and have a brainstorming session with the important stakeholders (project manager, business analyst, QA Lead, and the Development Team Lead) to fill in the necessary information for each item. You can use the table below as a starting point:

Test Goals/Objectives

  1. What are the specific goals and objectives of the testing effort?
  2. What key functionalities or features should be tested?
  3. Are there any specific performance or usability targets to be achieved?
  4. How will the success of the testing effort be measured?

Sprint Timelines

  1. What is the duration of each sprint?
  2. When does each sprint start and end?
  3. Are there any specific milestones or deadlines within each sprint?
  4. How will the testing activities be aligned with the sprint timelines?

Lifecycle of Tasks/Tickets

  1. What is the process for capturing and tracking tasks or tickets?
  2. How will the tasks or tickets flow through different stages (e.g., new, in progress, resolved)?
  3. Who is responsible for assigning, updating, and closing tasks or tickets?
  4. Is there a specific tool or system used for managing tasks or tickets?

Test Approach

  1. Will it be a manual testing approach, automated testing approach, or a combination of both?
  2. How will the test approach align with the development process (e.g., Agile, Waterfall)?

Testing Types

  1. What types of testing will be performed (e.g., functional testing, performance testing, security testing)?
  2. Are there any specific criteria or standards to be followed for each testing type?
  3. How will each testing type be prioritized and scheduled?
  4. Are there any dependencies for certain testing types?

Roles and Responsibilities

  1. What are the different roles involved in the testing process?
  2. What are the responsibilities of each role?

Testing Tools

  1. What are the preferred testing tools for different testing activities (open source/vendor-based)?
  2. Are there any specific criteria for selecting testing tools?
  3. How will the testing tools be integrated into the overall testing process?
  4. Is there a plan for training and support for using the testing tools effectively?

Hardware-Software Configuration

  1. Which operating systems and versions need to be supported?
  2. Which browsers or devices need to be tested on?


  1. What metrics or KPIs need to be tracked and reported?
  2. How frequently should the reports be generated and distributed?
  3. Who are the stakeholders who should receive the testing reports?


Sample Test Strategy Document

1. Scope

The testing will be performed on the banking web application which includes the following functionalities:

  • User registration and account authentication
  • Account transactions and transfers
  • Balance inquiries and statements
  • Bill payments and fund transfers
  • Loan applications and approvals

2. Test Approach

The testing approach for the banking web application will include the following steps:

  • Test planning: The testing team will review the requirements and develop a test plan that outlines the testing scope, objectives, and timelines specific to banking functionalities.
  • Test design: The testing team will develop test cases and test scenarios based on the banking requirements and user stories. Test data will be identified, and test environments will be set up.
  • Test execution: The test cases will be executed using manual and automated testing techniques. The testing team will report and track defects, and retest fixed defects.
  • Test reporting: The testing team will prepare and share test reports that summarize the testing progress, the number of defects, and the overall quality of the banking application.

3. Testing Types

The following testing types will be performed during the testing of the banking web application:

  • Functional testing: This type of testing ensures that the application functions correctly according to the banking requirements. It includes the testing of user registration, account transactions, balance inquiries, bill payments, and loan applications.
  • Usability testing: This type of testing focuses on user experience, ease of use, and user interface design specific to banking operations.
  • Performance testing: This type of testing evaluates the system's responsiveness, stability, and scalability under different load conditions for banking transactions.
  • Security testing: This type of testing ensures that the banking application is secure from unauthorized access, data breaches, and other security threats.
  • Compatibility testing: This type of testing checks if the banking application functions correctly across different browsers, devices, and operating systems.

4. Testing Tools

There are several important tools used in almost every testing project:

5. Hardware - Software Configuration

The testing will be conducted on the banking web application across the following hardware and software configurations (based on the user and traffic analytics provided by the web development team or marketing team):

  • Operating systems: Windows, macOS, Linux
  • Browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari
  • Database systems: MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server


Explore Top Cross-browser Testing Tools On The Market

6. Reporting

The testing team will prepare and provide the following reports for the banking web application:

  • Test Cases Execution Report: Provides information on the execution of test cases, including: 
    • Pass/fail status
    • Test case IDs
    • Associated defects or issues encountered during testing
  • Defect Report: Contains details about the defects or issues discovered during testing, including:
    • Description
    • Severity
    • Priority
    • Steps to reproduce
    • Current status (open, resolved, closed)
  • Test Summary Report: Offers an overview of the testing activities conducted, including:
    • Number of test cases executed
    • Pass/fail rates
    • Test coverage achieved
    • Overall assessment of the application's quality
  • Test Progress Report: Tracks the progress of testing activities throughout the project, including:
    • Planned versus actual test execution
    • Remaining work
    • Milestones achieved
    • Risks or issues encountered
  • Test Coverage Report: Provides insights into the extent of testing coverage achieved, including:
    • Areas of the application tested
    • Types of testing performed
    • Gaps or areas requiring additional testing

How Katalon Fits in With Any Test Strategy

Katalon is a comprehensive solution that supports test planning, creation, management, execution, maintenance, and reporting for web, API, desktop, and even mobile applications across a wide variety of environments, all in one place, with minimal engineering and programming skill requirements. You can utilize Katalon to support any test strategy without having to adopt and manage extra tools across teams.

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Katalon allows QA teams to quickly move from manual testing to automation testing thanks to the built-in keywords feature. These keywords are essentially ready-to-use code snippets that you can quickly drag-and-drop to construct a full test script without having to write any code. There is also the record-and-playback feature that records the sequence of action you take on your screen then turns it into an automated test script that you can re-execute across a wide range of environments.


execute test cases in Katalon Studio

After that, all of the test objects, test cases, test suites, and test artifacts created are managed in a centralized Object Repository, enabling better test management. You can even map automated tests to existing manual tests thanks to Jira and Xray integration.

For test execution, Katalon makes it easy to run tests in parallel across browsers, devices, and OS, while everything related to setup and maintenance is already preconfigured. AI-powered features such as Smart Wait, self-healing, scheduling, and parallel execution enable effortless test maintenance.

Finally, for test reporting, Katalon generates detailed analytics on coverage, release, flakiness, and pass/fail trend reports to make faster, more confident decisions.


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