The most important stage for any Mobile App project is ‘Testing’; we say this all the time. Since the time I started my career in Quality Assurance I have always been frustrated by the pile of e-documents created as part of the Test process. As per me the most important & only-valid Test documents are – Test Plan, Coverage Analysis and Test Summary Report. Some say “Plans are useless but planning is indispensable!” But documented Plans are a way to implement the process throughout the team(s). Mobile Technology is transforming the way people use their cell phones. Although demand is highest for consumer apps, enterprise applications are evolving too, allowing businesses to work more productively. Mobile App testing is quite different from other software testing methods due to the unique nature of the hardware and operating systems. So is the Mobile App Test Plan!
Mobile App Test Plan
‘Mobile App’ is the new buzzword. Then how can one stick to the traditional Test Plan template? The purpose of the Mobile App Test Plan is to define how the testing effort for the App release is planned, executed, and controlled. It is critical to have a rigorous Mobile App Test Plan before the App is deployed. The idea is simple, focus on the value it offers – boil Test planning down to only the essentials and cut all fat and fluff. Test Plan shouldn’t be like any other dead document (resulting in wasted effort) – written, reviewed, referred to a few times and then cast aside as the project moves ahead. A comprehensive Plan gives customers the confidence that an efficient Test process is adopted to ensure optimum App Quality! Let’s have a look…
Briefly mention the objective of Mobile App Test Plan document and Mobile App overview (under-test).
Scope defines the features, functional or non-functional requirements of the Mobile App that will be tested. In the Mobile App Test Plan don’t forget to explicitly mention the features or requirements that are considered to be out-of-scope!
Mention the reason of adopting a particular Test methodology for the project in Mobile App Test Plan– Waterfall, Iterative, Agile OR Extreme Programming. The methodology selected depends on multiple factors of time & budget.
Mobile App Test approach is way different from other Software owing to the complexities of device & OS combinations. It can be a Cloud-based Testing or a Private Mobile Test Lab or an optimum mix of Emulators & Real-devices or just Emulators / Real-devices. It can be completely manual or an Automation approach could be utilized for repetitive tests. Whatever be the Test Approach, elaborate a bit in this section, generally a pictorial representation would do!
Highlight the different types of testing to be carried out as part of App delivery program, along with a short description – Usability, Functional, Security, Performance, etc. Special attention should be paid to the description of Usability & Functional Tests (as those are the main types for Mobile App Testing). For complete list of applicable Test Types for a Mobile App, please refer our earlier post “Mobile App | Testing Types”.
The Testing Levels primarily depends on the scope of the project, time and budget constraints. Mention all the in-scope Test levels – Unit Testing, Component Testing (Login, Payments, Shopping cart, Search, etc.), API Testing, Integration Testing, System Testing, Regression Testing & Acceptance Testing (can be A/B or Beta Tests).
By now we all know ‘Mobile App Testing’ is not as simple as Web-based testing. It requires special skill set and a range of tools. Mention all the tools in this section along with their purpose – Requirements Tracking Tool, Bug Tracking Tool, Automation Tools, and Test execution Tools, etc. A tabular representation will fit!
One of the major difference between desktop/web application & Mobile App is the ‘Test Environment’. Mention in detail about the Devices, Firmware, Emulators, OS, Browsers & corresponding versions to be used while testing. A tabular representation will fit!
If it’s agile methodology – represent the Cycle & Sprint timelines. The prototype timelines and different project milestones until App delivery & aftercare. The sequence of Test activities starting from preparation, execution till Test results. Generally a tabular or piped representation would do!
Mobile App world is dynamic. Users are ever-demanding. As you deliver the Phase I, it’s quite possible that changes have already been proposed based on the Analytics & Feedback. This section details the procedure surrounding delivery of Change Requests along with other Control procedures like Reviews & Inspections, Bug Review meetings and milestone discussions. Best way is to mention it in bullet points!
Roles and Responsibilities
This section of the Mobile App Test Plan details about the description of the Roles and responsibilities of different team members like Test Manager, QA Analyst, Automation Engineer, Configuration Manager, Developers, Installation Team, Business Analyst, etc.
Note: A successful testing phase should have a wide range of participants. Having technology savvy testers on your list is a great idea, but don’t forget to include non-technical people as well. A combination of both will give you the variety of feedback you need.
Test execution & Defect Management
Mobile App execution & defect management is somewhat different than traditional ways. This section detail the ways execution progress will be monitored across different device & OS configurations, and how is defect management handled. It is strongly encouraged to attach the log file, jpeg snapshots of aberrant behavior, pointers to a backed up copy of the database, OS & App version details, Device & Browser details, properties files along with general summary & steps to reproduce. Bug Triage meeting ensures prioritization of bugs and determine a schedule for all “To Be Fixed Bugs’. This could be represented as numbered steps or bullet points!
As mentioned at the start we don’t want all the unnecessary test documentation which is NEVER referred. Mention all the Test artifacts that will be delivered at the end of Test cycle, based on which customer can make an informed decision regarding App release. We would recommend – Test Plan, Coverage Analysis and Test Completion Report (including Defects report and feedback/recommendations).
Risks & Assumptions
Each project group is responsible for identifying, mitigation, and tracking risks in their area. Risks can be with regards to Schedule, Technical, Management, Personnel and Requirements – like Device unavailability, lack of expertise or changes in functional requirements. Mention if any tool is used for Risk management.
Mention all the assumptions based on which this complete Mobile App Test Plan has been formulated – every release to QA will accompany a release note, all “Show-Stopper” bugs receive immediate attention, all bugs will be fixed and unit tested before the next version is released, Devices & Emulators and other support tools will be fully functional prior to project commencement, etc. Test schedule needs to be revisited in case of any changes!
Open Items & Version History
This section maintains all the Open items (along with Target dates) which needs resolution, either immediate or over the course of Testing – like procurement of particular devices, Analytics report, Scope finalization, etc. This section also maintains a version history for the Mobile App Test Plan document to track any changes done. A tabular representation should do for both!
As Consumer Apps Market & Enterprise Mobility continues its steady rate of growth, Mobile App Testing will continue to be an important part of it. Hope this post & above tips help you write a good Mobile App Test Plan. You won’t have to invent everything by yourself at least ? Feel free to add anything in the comments below, your feedback will surely help others. Thanks!