How do you draft a quick & easy "Testing Plan Lite" for a medium-sized web project (70k lines, 2 developers)?

I've seen many tutorials/articles on methods of testing, but all seem cumbersome. For us, the goal is to be able to be able to divide up and delegate testing instructions to our friends for different project segments, browsers, etc.

What's the quick & easy way to write test plans for web apps? (the 20 of the 20/80 rule)


  • How does the 80/20 rule apply to writing test plans?
    – Pemdas
    Jan 16, 2011 at 0:26
  • @Pemdas, 20% of the elements/best-practices that make a good test plan Jan 16, 2011 at 0:40
  • Can you give an example of what you would consider cumbersome?
    – Pemdas
    Jan 16, 2011 at 1:24

2 Answers 2


Depends on who is doing the testing

From your question, it seems that you're working with a fairly loose set of requirements and are simply asking for some friends to do some basic checking. However, this may not be the case so here are some general guidelines for a quick test plan based on the experience of the testers.

Experienced testers familiar with the product

Just point them at it, and tell them what's changed over a few emails. You should supply the user stories or requirements that you used so that they can infer the new behaviour.

Inexperienced friends who are just checking it out

You need to be a bit more specific. Perhaps a bunch of screenshots showing expected behaviour for a given use case on one browser and then get them to replicate that behaviour on a variety of other browsers a differing version levels.

The browsers should be resized in all manner of crazy configurations to ensure that the pages scale properly.

You must ensure that they enter all manner of rubbish data. Supply them with examples of nasty stuff (see http://xkcd.com/327/) to put into text fields.

Make sure that they attempt to use the site using the keyboard only and that it still works.

Perhaps get them to turn off JavaScript and see if the site still basically functions.

That should cover most of the biggies.

Consider automated testing

If you're not confident in your friends doing the testing, consider writing a few regression test scripts that perform some clicking around and parse the returned HTML. Your developers should be able to knock up basic HTTP-client type scripts in no time that just test simple behaviour.

You can get progressively more complex in your approach later as your application gains complexity.


My development has become much easier after I added unit tests to a pre-commit script. This checks for stupid changes that I used to test manually.

  • change the database to a table for testing
  • Fill it up with data
  • check that it keeps out un-authenticated users
  • login and verify permissions
  • added, update and remove data
  • logout and remove temporary table

I love it when I get code from someone else and they included tests like these. I can't imagine working with others and not doing this.

If you are asking them to code something, make a test for it. The time it takes to review their code will make it worth the effort.

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