What is a Test Strategy?

A TEST STRATEGY is a plan for defining the approach to the Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC). It guides the QA team to define Test coverage and testing scope. It also aids testers to get a clear picture of the project at any instance. The possibility of missing any test activity is very low when there is a proper test strategy in place.

The Test Strategy document answers questions like what you want to get done and how you are going to accomplish it. It is the most important document for any QA team in software testing. Writing an effective Strategy document is a skill that a tester develops with experience. Testing strategy plan should be communicated with the entire team so that the team will be consistent on approach and responsibilities.

Test Plan Vs Test Strategy

There is great confusion about Test Plan and Test Strategy documents. A different organization has their unique processes and standards to manage these documents. For example, some organization include test strategy facts in Test Plan itself while some organization includes strategy as a subsection within the testing plan.

Test Plan

Test Strategy


  • In the Test Plan, test focus and project scope are defined. It deals with test coverage, scheduling, features to be tested, features not to be tested, estimation and resource management.


  • Test strategy is a guideline to be followed to achieve the test objective and execution of test types mentioned in the testing plan. It deals with test objective, test environment, test approach, automation tools and strategy, contingency plan, and risk analysis

To make it clearer if the Test Plan is some destination then QA Test strategy is a map to reach that destination.

How to prepare a good test strategy document

Every organization has their unique priority and set of rules for software designing, so do not copy any organization blindly. Always ensure that their document is compatible and adds value to your software development before following the template.

Test Strategy in STLC:

Test Strategy in stlc image

Step#1: Scope

It defines parameters like

  • Who will review the document?
  • Who will approve this document?
  • Software Testing activities carried out with timelines

Step#2 Test Approach

It defines

  • Process of testing
  • Testing levels
  • Roles and responsibilities of each team member
  • Types of Testing ( Load testing, Security testing, Performace testing etc.)
  • Testing approach & automation tool if applicable
  • Adding new defects, re-testing, Defect triage, Regression Testing and test sign off

Step#3 Test Environment

  • Define the number of requirement and setup required for each environment
  • Define backup of test data and restore strategy

Step#4 Testing Tools

  • Automation and Test management tools needed for test execution
  • Figure out a number of open-source as well as commercial tools required, and determine how many users are supported on it and plan accordingly

Step#5 Release Control

  • Release management plan with appropriate version history that will make sure test execution for all modification in that release

Step#6 Risk Analysis

  • List all risks that you can estimate
  • Give a clear plan to mitigate the risks also a contingency plan

Step#7 Review and Approvals

  • All these activities are reviewed and signed off by the business team, project management, development team, etc.
  • Summary of review changes should be traced at the beginning of the document along with an approved date, name, and comment

Download Test Strategy Template

Click below to download sample test strategy document

Download the Test Strategy Template


In Software Engineering, software release goes through Test Strategy documents from time to time to map the progress of testing in the right direction. When the release date is close many of these activities will be skipped, it is desirable to discuss with team members whether cutting down any particular activity will help for release without any potential risk.