To test software effectively, you need to have a strategy. That’s true whether you are testing a minor feature, an entire application or an integrated suite of applications. A test strategy is the set of big-picture ideas that embody the direction or design of a test effort. It’s not a detailed plan. It’s the thinking you’ve done about how to make the best use of time and all the other resources available to you, to find important bugs and provide your stakeholders with information that really matters to them about the software. Working together on real testing problems, we’ll explore what’s essential in a strategy and some simple yet powerful techniques to develop it quickly. We’ll ask questions that will help you learn to think strategically and equip you to find answers for yourself on your own projects.

Course Objectives

In this hands-on workshop we’re going to set document templates aside and focus on the important aspects of a test strategy:

  • Thinking strategically about what and how you need to test, and
  • Communicating your strategy effectively

Course Outline

  • Discovering business drivers for the project and incorporating them into a test strategy.
  • Determining your key stakeholders and understanding what product quality means to them in practical terms you can base a test strategy on.
  • Driving out facts, risks, principles, or organizational beliefs that could direct test priorities or severely constrain the test.
  • Deciding how to determine testing scope and coverage.

Each exercise will be followed by a debrief that will give participants the opportunity to share their experiences and consolidate and add to what they’ve learned.

Throughout the day, we’ll also practice using simple, flexible media—such as mindmaps and diagrams—for working through our ideas and communicating clearly to project stakeholders.


Fiona Charles, Quality Intelligence

Fiona Charles teaches IT practitioners project skills “beyond process,” hands-on practical skills essential to thrive and excel on any kind of software project. An expert test consultant and manager, she has been in the thick of it through more than 30 years of challenging projects across the business spectrum on both sides of the Atlantic. Throughout her career, Fiona has advocated, designed, implemented, and taught pragmatic and humane practices to deliver software worth having. Fiona’s articles and blog posts appear frequently. She conducts experiential workshops in public classes, at international conferences, and in-house for her clients.