Best test plan templates and examples to follow for free

August 11, 2022
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Organizations must release software and retail products that pass all quality assurances with a greater onus on quality and reliability. The products and software should be tested through a detailed plan to make sure that all avenues are covered.

A test plan template helps provide definite directions for your team to test and assure the quality of the end product. A software test plan template will open a number of avenues and give you detailed instructions on how to test and approve your software. The end product should only be rolled out to the public after it has passed the testing phase.

What is the Test Plan Template?

As we have mentioned above, a test plan template is a document that entails all processes that should be followed to test and secure a software or hardware solution. The template ensures that all testing procedures are followed and met across the product lifecycle if the need be.

If your organization doesn’t have a business test plan in place already, then you have to start by assessing your core business processes, the areas inside your organization that are most vulnerable, and the potential losses you will incur daily if these processes go down.

Once identified, you can proceed with developing your business testing plan. This would entail the following general steps:

1. Identify the scope of your plan 

2. Identify all key business areas that would shut down as a result of a cyber-attack. 

3. Identify all critical functions in your organization 

4. Identify how output and productivity are focused or dependent on specific parts and areas 

5. Determine the downtime that it will take for you to perform each critical function 

6. Create an actionable plan for maintaining operations in the face of disaster

You can keep a checklist as a potential tip for covering everything you should. The list should include the location of your data backups, along with where the plan is available and who you can trust to oversee key business processes when disaster strikes.

Once you are creating your business continuity plan, you will like to interview and talk to people and employees who have previously gone through similar experiences of data breaches and cyber-attacks. Hear their 'war stories and understand the mentality that helped them pull out of that mess. People usually like sharing tips and tricks on how they saved the day, so you won't face much resistance here. The insights you get from experienced people will actually help you in crafting a plan.

How to Use it?

You can create an effective business continuity and test plan with the following tips:

Establish Communication Lines

Your business continuity plan should establish communication lines within the organization. An employee who detects a cyber security issue on their remote system while working at home should know who to contact at the moment. News of an attack or any update should immediately get to the team in action without delays.

Backups

A continuity plan should ensure that the business has good, regular and clean backups of the entire IT state available on a daily basis. Running backups every month doesn't work anymore, which is why you need to have preferably daily or weekly backups at worst. Ensure that your backup is secured in a remote network, as there have been instances of ransomware attacks running into the backup and shutting that down as well.

Prepare a Plan for each Essential Service

If you have identified multiple essential services in your business, then you need to come up with a plan for all vital services separately. You should follow all that we have mentioned above to come up with a different plan for each service or silo. Identify individuals tasked with looking after each service so that there aren't any last-minute hiccups.

Keep Virus from Spreading

One of your first plans of action after a cyber-attack is to stop the virus from spreading. Disconnect the internet, change settings for the firewall, update credentials for affected systems and remove remote access altogether. The virus shouldn’t be allowed to spread, as that will ameliorate the damage.

Why Businesses Need Test Planning

Hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst. Once you have a business test plan on paper, it is necessary that you test and approve it before relying on it to get you through cyber-attacks. Testing a project is the only way for you to know whether it will work or bust.

To make the testing process difficult and almost life-like, you have to create an artificial cyber-attack with the sole purpose of breaking your business continuity plan. Do not go for an easy scenario where you come out high-fiving each other when the plan actually isn't ready for real-life situations. Create a complicated attack that actually tests and strains every part of your plan.

Test how your task teams perform and if you are in sync with the targets you have set in the actual plan. To make the situation even more life-like, you can promise recovery teams a bonus if they get through the case in the desired time.

There are three primary ways for you to test and explicate your business continuity plan on an annual basis.

1. Start with tabletop exercises that take place inside a conference room and involve team members poring over the plan and its possible limitations. Have the best talent in your firm come together on a quarterly basis to check for chinks in the armour. 

2. Secondly, you have the option of a structured walk-through, where every team member walks through the components of the plan. Identify different disasters or types of cyber-crimes in mind and rehearse what each member would do in the face of the actual disaster. This will help you in locating whatever weaknesses there are in the plan. 

3. Lastly, you can go through disaster simulation testing to design an environment that simulates an actual cyber-attack. The purpose of a simulation is to find out whether you can actually carry out core business functions during the attack.

Try including new employees into the team every once in a while so that the fresh eyes can detect any lapses of information that other members might overlook.

Organizations with a website can go for web penetration testing to identify any gaps within their website. You can opt for the following well-established methodologies to pen test your website.

  • OSSTMM (Open-Source Security Testing Methodology Manual)

  • OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project)

  • ISAF (Information Systems Security Assessment Framework)

  • PDF (Penetration Testing Framework)

  • PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)

These methodologies will help you run penetration tests on your website and check its response.

When to Use the Test Planning Template?

A test planning template is the need of the hour when an organization is moving towards the launch of a new software or hardware product. Tests are an absolute necessity in software products because they ensure compliance and mitigate the risk of cyber-attacks.

Almost 96 percent of all businesses in the United States suffered a cyber-attack during the last year. While cyber-attacks previously targeted important financial data, hackers have realized the potential in the market for consumer data, including date of birth, password hashes, email addresses, and usernames.

A recent scam involving Dubsmash, My Fitness Pal, My Heritage and ShareThis saw important consumer data from over 200 million user accounts stolen and put up for sale on the Dream Market dark web marketplace. This new revenue stream has brought in a group of eagle-eyed hackers looking to attack and breach sensitive consumer data.

The average cost of a single data breach caused by a cyber-attack hovers around $3.62 million on average. This is a staggering amount that most businesses today aren't able to meet. This is precisely why almost 60 percent of small and budding companies run out of business within six months of falling into a cyber-attack that leads to a data breach. A test plan minimizes the chances of a cyber attack and provides a stable code with good uptime.

How to Use Test Planning Template

A test plan template is simple to use. All you need to do is download the template and fill in your specific details inside it. All templates you find on the internet are for general use, and you will have to add your specific details within them to be able to use them for your case.

For instance, you will have to customize the template for your specific use by adding details pertaining to your software product and the details it requires. Most templates come with blanks which you can fill with relevant information.

Where to Download Test Planning Template?

Test planning templates can easily be found on WPS templates. We assist users further by mentioning some of the best templates in the section below. You can download these free templates and work on them to finalize your test plan document.

Best 5 Test Planning Templates

We now recommend the best five templates for a test plan. Run through them and find your best fit.

1. Minimalistic Text and Images Presentation

This text and image presentation is ideal for creating your test plan. The plan gives you a chance to break your software development life cycle into different steps and talk about the testing procedure in detail.

The test plan provides details as to what is required for proper testing of tools used by the organization. The test plan comes included with useful section headers and a detailed list of contents. Software developers want to break their testing procedure into simple steps. This test plan gives developers the option to do just that, as it comes with multiple pages and headers.

Interestingly, hardware product manufacturers can also enjoy the facilities on offer. The plan allows developers to test their software development procedures in detail and come up with unified guidelines for everyone to follow. This test plan can be passed on to different stakeholders across the organization for timely results and testing.

2. Simple Blue Project Plan

This simple blue template is a project plan, which can also be used as a test plan to elaborate on the testing procedure. Testing is important for software and hardware deployment, which is why it is necessary for the process to be smooth and seamless.

A testing plan can be included within activities in the detailed sections, with different plans for each category. Interestingly, the plan can be used for collaboration activities internally and externally as well.

3. Atmospheric Star Business Plan

The atmospheric star business plan can work as a test plan that includes details of your testing procedure in the case of product deployment. Software developers and firms want to ensure continuous testing at all times to ensure the best possible version is released to the public.

This star test plan comes with different sections and headers that can be set to match the needs of your testing procedure. The testing procedure is detailed in nature and carries different weightage. Your tests are performed through a detailed itinerary followed by everyone.

The test plan template comes with stars and mountains in the background for added aesthetics. The sections can include different models of continuous code testing and quality assurance for software and hardware products, respectively.

Conclusion

Almost 96 percent of all businesses in the United States suffered a cyber-attack during the last year. While cyber-attacks previously targeted important financial data, hackers have realized the potential in the market for consumer data, including date of birth, password hashes, email addresses, and usernames. This just points toward the importance of a test plan at the organizational level.

A test plan template can help make the software testing process easier. The template allows you to add your personalized details on a general form with all testing tools and angles covered. The templates on WPS can be downloaded from their website. Additionally, you can download WPS Office to manage your templates and documents. The software comes with a smooth interface and easy-to-use templates for fast processing.

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