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Test Objectives

The first step in the test planning process is to document the high-level test objectives. The test objectives provide a prioritized list of verification or validation objectives for the project. You use this list of objectives to measure testing progress, and verify that testing activity is consistent with project objectives.

Test objectives can typically be grouped into the following categories:

  • Functional correctness. Validation that the application correctly supports required business processes and transactions. List all of the business processes that the application is required to support. Also list any standards for which there is required compliance.
  • Authorization. Verification that actions and data are available only to those users with correct authorization. List any key authorization requirements that must be satisfied, including access to functionality and data.
  • Service level. Verification that the system will support the required service levels of the business. This includes system availability, load, and responsiveness. List any key performance indicators (KPIs) for service level, and the level of operational effort required to meet KPIs.
  • Usability. Validation that the application meets required levels of usability. List the required training level and user KPIs required.

The testing team, development team, and the business unit agree upon the list of test objectives and their priority. Figure 5 shows a sample Test Objectives document.

A test case covers one or more test objective, and has the specific steps that testers follow to verify or validate the stated objectives. The details of the test plan are described in Test Plans.

Figure 5. Sample Test Objectives
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