Purposeful test strategy and planning



The objective of this masterclass is to enable the participants to devise test strategy based on scientific approach and ensure that it is purposeful ( goal-centric )

Target audience

Test manager, Project manager, Test lead, Test automation staff


If you know where you want to be, the road shows up. Strategy is about charting the direction that will get you to the goal. Plan is about executing the strategy by identifying routes, making choices along the way and ultimately taking the routes.Sharp goal clarity enables one to identify the direction clearly and quickly discover the route(s). In the context of validation, a clear articulation of the “criteria of cleanliness” leading to the potential defect types that need to be discovered implies sharp goal. This masterclass takes a scientific approach to “how to formulate strategy and derive the plan” by identifying the levels, types, techniques and execution process models to ensure that the potential defect types can be indeed be detected optimally. Strategy requires in addition to charting the direction, devising a clear set of markers along the way to ensure that you are in the right direction. i.e. devise measures/metrics to know how far you are from the goal.


Purposeful strategy is about identifying the specific types of tests needed to uncover specific types of defects at the appropriate stage of development then choosing the appropriate techniques and the execution process model such that we are optimal and e!ective. This is about casting the net in the right direction, with the net being the right size and material such that the fishes are indeed caught. It is equally important to devise measures to enable us in the right direction and make rapid course corrections as needed.

Hypothesis Based Methodology (HBT) powered by the defect detection technology STEM (STAG Test Engineering Method) is used to estimate e!ort in a scientific manner. HBT is a six-stage personal test methodology with the first two stages focused on “Understanding expectations and context” and “Defect hypothesis”.

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The third stage is about “Devising proof” that includes test strategy formulation and e!ort estimation. This stage is powered by the “Test strategy & planning” discipline of STEM, the underlying defect detection technology that powers HBT. This discipline consist of about ten steps with seven scientific concepts to enable strategy development and planning. The scientific concepts “Orthogonality principle” and “Quality growth principle”, “Tooling needs assessment” of STEM are useful to formulate the strategy. The discipline of “Tooling” allows the good principles of development to identify tooling needs for implementing the strategy.The discipline of “Visibility” allows us to devise measures/metrics that are indeed goal-focused.

The process of application of this discipline enables the participant to scientifically formulate the strategy, develop test plan and estimate e!ort. This also allows one to come up with questions to identify potentially missing information and aspects that are unclear , so that we are able to chart direction.

Program content

  • Difference between strategy and plan
  • Goal focused strategy – what does this involve?
  • Information requirement for formulating a strategy
  • How strategy impacts the various stages of test lifecycle?
  • The Orthogonality principle
  • Contents of a purposeful strategy
  • Metrics to track the progress of implementation of the strategy
  • Adapting to changing needs – evolution of strategy
  • Metrics to guide the strategy
  • GQM A goal focused approach to devising metrics