Beta Test Plan


Quick Summary
An annotated outline for a full beta test plan document, testing that is often critical for exercising the product, service, or system in a way that cannot be duplicated in the "lab"; and getting customer and end user reaction to the functions and features.


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What this is

An annotated outline for a full beta test plan document. Beta testing refers to testing of a new product or system or service at a customer, prior to release of the item for sale or normal customer use.


Why it's useful

Beta testing is often critical for exercising the product, service, or system in a way that cannot be duplicated in the "lab"; and getting customer and end user reaction to the functions and features. Beta should hopefully not uncover major system issues, but it is important validation that the item will work properly/ be usable/ and meet customer requirements.

The test plan is important because done well, it includes sections that for detailed planning elements that are often overlooked and can drastically affect both the scope and the effectiveness of the tests.


How to use it

Create the first draft of this document well ahead of when the beta testing should start. A well-designed beta test will require commitment from appropriate customers, planning for availability of personnel and equipment, etc.

Understand the purpose of the plan for your project to time its creation properly:
  • When do you know enough to start the beta plan? - i.e., what kind of beta customer(s) you want; what roles you'll need for that kind of testing, etc.
  • When is earliest the beta plan might do some good? I.e., when can someone else first put the information to use, for instance to plan for equipment purchases, or start talking to potential beta customers with enough lead time?
  • When is too late to start? I.e. if you started that late, there would be no slack time for unforeseen issues.

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Related Templates
Project Test Plan
Testing without a plan leads to chaos in the test phase. This plan outline walks you through the process from initial test planning to documentation and project implementation, with detailed annotations and suggestions for test types you may want to consider.




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