5 Tips for Developing and Executing a Formal Test PlanOne of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received is this: anticipate.

Shout out to my dad for his wisdom.

Anticipation is an important part of setting yourself up for success. When you anticipate, you’re also proactively identifying the steps you need to take to reach your desired goal. This applies to just about everything, no matter what result you’re working toward achieving.  


Consider rolling out a workforce management solution or adding a new module to your mix. You might generally be a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of guy or gal, but winging it when it comes to your workforce isn't really a preferred approach. It's safe to say that software implementations work out best when you anticipate challenges that might surface and create a plan to address them before you go live – essentially, test things out. I’m not an implementation expert, but I’ve chatted about this before with my friends on the Kronos Solution Quality Assurance team. Testing is one of the things they do best.  

From the experts...

A comprehensive testing plan outlines the strategy, resources, processes, tasks, and schedules involved in making sure that your workforce management system meets your established business requirements and acceptance criteria.

Check out these five best practice tips for developing and executing a formal test plan:

Define the best testing approach for your organization – Following a structured methodology is important for staying on time and on track. Common approaches include Agile, Waterfall, and Vendor-Specific. It doesn’t matter which you choose. The key is that you have a clear vision of how you’ll move forward.

Identify who will do the testing – Large companies with lots of employees might have a quality assurance (QA) team who can lead and manage the testing effort. If you don’t have a QA team, dedicate time to identifying the people (both managers and employees) who will be using the solution and ask them to be involved in testing.

Define entry and exit criteria and your tracking approach – Defining your criteria helps you determine if you’ve performed enough testing to meet your goals. Regardless of whether or not you track using sophisticated testing software or work in a spreadsheet, keep these things top of mind:

  • How you’ll track different types of issues
  • What to do when a tester finds a result that doesn’t match what’s expected
  • How testers will log issues
  • How to track the status of logged issues
  • Who will be responsible for gathering, reviewing, and prioritizing issues for fixing
  • The level of detail a tester must provide for logged issues
  • Who will fix each type of issue
  • The frequency of test review meetings   

Identify the right data – It’s important that your test plan specifies the data required for each test case, the data source, and who is responsible for making the data available in your testing environment.

Document your plan – Your test plan is a roadmap for your testing process, so make sure to write down the details and review the plan with your implementation project team. And sure, things change. Keep revisiting the plan and adjust it as needed.


The moral of the story is to anticipate, plan, and then take action! Read about these best practices in depth in the white paper: Don’t Wing It: Test Plan It! Best-Practice Tips for Implementing a Successful Testing Plan for Your Workforce Management Solution.


Published: Thursday, April 11, 2019