As both the terms are necessary elements of the QA testing process, at the same time, they aren’t interchangeable. Why aren’t test plans and test strategy interchangeable? What is the difference between a test plan and a test strategy? When is it the right time to use a plan, and when should you prefer a strategy? In short, a test strategy sets the general standard for QA testing activities, while a test plan defines specific details of QA responsibilities and processes. 

What is Test Strategy?

Test strategy is a strategy adopted by various organizations for software testing. It is just like a document outlining the overall approach the organization should follow. It would be defining high-level guidelines which decide all decision-making matters related to testing and QA. 

Test Strategy Application

A well-organized strategy helps an organization minimize the efforts and cost. If an organization is steadfast with a strategy, it will be able to answer the following questions:

  • How do they provide quick feedback on quality to developers? 
  • How do they maintain a balance between different types of tests, including manual vs. automated? 
  • How often do they execute tests? 
  • How are they confident that they are succeeding in their quality objectives?

What is a Test Plan?

A test plan in QA software testing is referred to as a document that outlines the scope, objectives, methods, and weight of the entire testing plan. It works to amplify productivity, precisely where the time is strained. Test plans empower communication between team members, stakeholders, and all other members on the board. 

Importance of Test Plan

You can say that the test strategy is your “north star,” which only provides high-level guidance regarding your software testing activities. The test strategy will not tell you about certain aspects of testing the application. Thus, the test strategy is only high-level and general, while the test plan tells all the members how and where to start. Moreover, your test plan can compromise one or more test suites as well as several test cases. 

How do Test Strategy and Test Plan Differ? 

The significant difference between the two terms is defined based on a whole organization, where test strategy serves as the foundation upon which specific test plans are created. So, a test strategy won’t change much frequently as the test plan alters. Test plan changes from release to release often for multiple reasons. However, it resides at the organization level; all the projects being carried out in the organization are affected by test strategy. At the same time, the test plans are usually concerned with a specific task according to the testing needs of each application.

A Test Strategy answers the “What” Questions of Software Testing Process

While A Test Plan answers the “How” Questions of the Software Testing Process

Test Case Management Software

Test Plan


Test Strategy

Test Plan

Test Strategy


Slightly explains the aims and range of coverage of QA test.

Describe the whole testing process in detail how to go about the testing.

Bottom Line

Identifies all possibilities of achieving the goals and possible risk factors.

Suitable when there are multiple projects under one roof


According to its requirements, each project has its test plan, thus used for one project and rarely repeated.

Designed in such a way that it can be used at organizational heights. Not specific to one project execution.


Documentation explains the test’s objective and the concerned person who oversees testing.

Documentation describes what methods are used and what areas to inspect.

Susceptibility to Alter

It is dynamic and flexible to change any certain activity in the test plan.

It is restrictive and complicated to change phrases or strategies as it will affect all the projects going on.

Concerned Member

The test manager is responsible for creating the test plan, implementing it and overseeing.

Compiling the complete test strategy of the organization is usually the responsibility of the task manager.

Strategies and Plans in constraints of Test Automation

Test automation is the backbone of every organization that aims at delivering high-quality software at a fast pace. Consequently, organizations are found automating more and more activities in their software testing. Do you think this trend affects how test strategies and plans are working in software testing? Yes, it does affect the strategy and plans of the testing process. For beginners, a part of manual testing in the majority of software test strategies is bound to decline. Though, testing types such as exploratory testing still play a significant role in specific scenarios. With the time test automation tools are advancing, the territory of what can’t be automated proceeds to diminish. 

Key Differences

  • A test plan is a document that briefs the scope, objective, and weight of software testing, whereas a Test strategy explains how the software testing is to be performed. 
  • Test strategy is developed at the organizational level, while test plan is used at the project level. 
  • The test plan has further plans of how to test when to test, and who will verify. On the other hand, test strategy has a primary goal of what technique to use and what module to follow. 
  • Test plans can be altered according to the need, but test strategies can’t be changed more frequently. 
  • Test strategy is carried out by the organization’s project manager, while the test manager of the project looks after the test plan.

Scale up your Test Strategy with QATrail!

Test strategy is essential for all organizations that care about delivering quality products. Moreover, with a customized strategy, you can create test plans that work in all constraints and meet all the application’s needs. Despite understanding the importance of test strategy, many companies fail to get a perfect strategy. Some of them are found performing testing with no goals and directions. They cannot drive actual ROI with their testing approaches, which don’t have any defined plans. Meanwhile, there are some organizations with test strategies but still struggle to scale them. For all these companies, who aim to grow and advance in the quality they provide, QA Trails can answer all the questions about how to scale quality efficiently. 

Related Post

Leave a Comment

Copyright © Qatrail. All rights reserved.