Defining a Test Plan

In Microsoft Test Manager, a test plan defines what to test, and stores the results of your tests. All your tests are planned and performed in the context of a test plan. A team project typically has multiple test plans. You create a separate test plan for each sprint, milestone or other iteration. If your project is developing several functional areas concurrently, you would also have separate test plans for each area.

In Microsoft Test Manager choose Testing Center, Plan. You can select three views of the test plan:

  • Properties view—Where you can specify:

    • The project area, sprint, and build that the test plan is intended to test.

    • Test configurations: The combinations of processor type, operating system version, and browser version on which you want to test the application.

    • Test environment: The number and characteristics of the computers on which to run the tests. Set this if you are testing a web-based or distributed application.

    • Test settings: The types of data that you want to collect while running the tests.

    When you are first trying out Microsoft Test Manager, you can leave most of these properties at their default values.

    Properties of a test planTest plan properties

  • Contents view—Shows the test cases that you intend to perform in this plan. Each test case represents an individual test. A test case can be shared between test plans, so that you can repeat the same test in successive sprints. Test cases in a plan can be organized into a hierarchy of test suites.

    You might prefer to do exploratory testing, without planning test cases in advance. However, if you record your exploratory sessions in the form of test cases, then you can repeat the same test easily and reliably in later sessions. It is important to repeat a test after a bug has been fixed, and also to make sure that bugs do not appear in later sprints.

    Test suites and test cases in a test plan

  • Results view—Shows the progress and outcomes of the test cases that have been run in this plan.

    View of test plan resultsTest plan results


  • Visual Studio Ultimate, Visual Studio Premium, Visual Studio Test Professional

Defining Test Plans

For more information about strategies for testing, see Test Early and Often.

Reviewing Your Test Plan

The Test Scribe power tool creates a Microsoft Word document from your test plan. Using this document, anyone can review the test cases in the test plan without having to open each test case.

See Also


Quick Start Guide for Manual Testing using Microsoft Test Manager


Testing the Application

Managing New Testing Efforts

Keyboard Shortcuts for Microsoft Test Manager