Test Planning – Mindmap

I remember in my early days of testing I was given the task of creating a test plan. I had little experience and the only guidance I got was being handed a word template to base the plan on.  Basically, I was expected to fill in the blanks.  I’m glad that’s behind me!

The problem with test planning in many cases is the lack of flexibility testers are given, not to mention the fact that the actual Test Plan Documents hardly get looked at once completed.

This is why I created this MindMap.  I did it kind of quickly, so I’m hoping fellow testers will kindly help expand on this.  I am sure there are valuable points missing.

The MindMap image is below. Followed by downloadable files. Followed by a text checklist. Enjoy!

Test Planning MindMap


Download  – ZIP File includes – png, PDF, smmx, text, opml and mm file types.

Interesting links we came across during our research:

Test Planning

Types and approaches to testing to consider

  • Performance
  • Load
  • Stress
  • Functional
  • Usability
  • Security
  • Accessibility
  • User Testing
  • UAT
  • Compatibility
  • Exploratory
  • Scenarios
  • Alpha/Beta
  • Prototypes
  • Unit Testing
  • Regression
  • Specification Based Testing

Test Plan Formats

  • Written documents
  • MindMaps
  • Wiki
  • Spreadsheets
  • Checklists
  • Flow diagrams
  • White boards
  • Post it notes


Test lab

  • Platforms
  • Tools
  • Issue Tracker
  • Test Library
  • Test Management


  • Test Team
  • Users
  • Product Team
  • Clients


  • Documents
  • Requirements
  • User Guides
  • Web materials
  • Product history

What are the requirements?

  • Achieve standards?
  • What is the goal or mission?
  • Find important problems?
  • Accountability
  • Satisfy stakeholders
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Effectiveness
  • What testing outputs need to be created, and how? Test Cases, Test Plan, Test Strategy, Bug Management & Exploratory testing results
  • When is testing done?

Project Management

  • Plans change – Adapt!
  • Get feedback
  • Time
  • What’s the schedule?
  • Releases
  • Availability of people
  • Availability of documentation
  • Anything that could block testing?
  • Relationships
  • Collaborate
  • Share knowledge
  • Teach others
  • Learn from other product team members

Analyse Product

Attributes – What is testing and the product meant to deliver?

  • Functional?
  • Secure?
  • Usable?
  • Fast?
  • Innovative?

Think of the product in terms of ‘components’

  • Features
  • Stories
  • Modules
  • Classes
  • Design


  • What can the user do?
  • Who are the users?
  • What can’t the users do?

Data – what does the product process?

  • What goes in?
  • What goes out?
  • What pre-exists?
  • How does it change over time?
  • Large or small amounts of data
  • Order of data – the sequence

Use of software

  • Who are the users?
  • What environments will it be exposed to!?
  • How will it likely be used?
  • Negative use
  • Malicious
  • Ignorant
  • Mistaken
  • Carelessness

Structure – what is the product made of?

  • Interface
  • Code
  • Hardware
  • Informational Products
  • Internal factors
  • External Factors
  • What does time have to do with testing? Input/output; Speed – fast, slow, changing pace; Concurrency

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4 Responses to “Test Planning – Mindmap”

  1. PhilJuly 9, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    Thanks for this Rosie. Very timely, as this morning I’m creating a new test plan and guess what… I’m using a word template. It’s long been my wish that these things should be useful and reflect what we actually do (and don’t do). Plenty to consider here.

  2. Tim BarkerJuly 10, 2012 at 2:20 am #

    Perfect timing, I wrote my test plan for our next release yesterday. I planned it with a mind map, the text version is lightweight and on our wiki (no word docs or ieee829 templates), just the stuff that I think is important. Ideally I would have just posted the mindmap, but I’m not sure that would have gone down very well.

    This gave me more to think about now! I’m already thinking about more types of testing that I can apply.

  3. @halperinko - Kobi HalperinJuly 11, 2012 at 11:18 am #

    Thanks – this can be quite useful,

    Personally I don’t like the mix between Types and Approaches – this just widen the confusion between these.

    @halperinko – Kobi Halperin

  4. AlonJuly 12, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    I’ve printed it, but didn’t have the time to go over it thoroughly.

    I just wanted to say that I loved this one: “What can’t the users do?” – it’s a very creative question, that allows us to think about what’s missing.