International Project Management Day




Master Test List


Quick Summary
Screenshot A tabular format for listing the tests to be run during a testing cycle, such as Beta, System test, etc.


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What this is

A tabular format for listing the tests to be run during a testing cycle (such as Beta, System test etc.), with a place to categorize and describe each test, provide pass-fail criteria, indicate the planned run day or week, and log pass-fail test results.


Why it's useful

This format can be used as a master list on any project. It is especially useful for smaller projects, where it could be the test plan/test case document, documenting all cases to be run while still providing a quick-reference look at what has been tested, what is left to test etc. It is formatted to be not only a plan document but serve as a good tracking document as well. On a larger project with many test cases and lots of detail per case, this table format would be most useful as a master list, with test case detail residing either later in the document as text paragraphs, or in separate documents.

The Master Test List table includes slots for specifying how a test should be run, what should be measured or observed, and what should be recorded. It also includes a place to specify pass-fail criteria. Both these fields are critical for ensuring the testing is meaningful, and that a test is not declared "passed" without an objective assessment of its results against those criteria.


How to use it

  • During early test planning activities, identify the major types of tests to be run.
  • Fill in the other planning information (resources, equipment needed, etc.) if you'd like to use this as your overall test plan.
  • As you get closer to the testing activity, identify logical "sets" of tests (for instance, for a particular subsystem or subset of functionality) and create sections of the test plan for them.
  • Create your list of test cases in each set, marking the test type for each as well.
  • As test case details are defined, record bulleted instructions for running the tests, measuring or observing results, and what should be recorded. Specify also the pass-fail criteria for each test case.
  • When you're much closer to the test activity, start to slot the test sets into specific points in the testing timeline and mark their "planned date" in the Master Test List table.
  • Once testing has begun, the master list can be used weekly or daily for planning the test activities for the next time period, assigning testing responsibilities, and reviewing progress and results.
  • As the test table starts to fill up, and you get near the end of the test timeline, you can scan the right-most column to see items that have not passed, and ensure they are being addressed.
  • File the Master List as a top-level record of the testing performed.
  • Later, if issues are discovered that should have been caught during testing, you can go back to the master list and determine what was missing from the plan, and document the missing tests for next time.
  • The master list can also be used when a small enhancement is made to the same system/ product; tests from the list can be used as "regression" tests to ensure the new enhancement didn't break any existing functionality.

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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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