Difference between Test Planning and Test Strategy

Test Plan is a road map to testing. A test plan defines the blue print or approach to testing. Following questions are answered in a test plan:

How the testing will be carried out
What will be the approach
How we will proceed with testing
Testing strategy
Features to be tested
Features not to be tested
Hardware requirement
Software requirement
Man power requirement
Manual OR automation will be implemented
Build schedule (when the build will be given for testing)
Test schedule (when the testing will be completed for the given build)
When the retesting will be performed
What will be the regression plan
What features will be tested in regression (regression suite) and so on
Scope of testing is defined in test planning
Types of testing like API, compatibility, UI, functional, non functional
Test deliverables
Test artifacts
Test environments
Risk involved
Risk mitigation
Entry criteria
Exit criteria
Responsibilities (roles and responsibilities of each member)
Staffing and training need.

What is Test Strategy?

Test strategy is a set of guidelines or guiding principles to carry out a particular testing task. It is a subset of the test plan. It features preconditions before carrying out a particular testing task.

For e.g. what would be the strategy when a build comes for testing?

1. We might say we’ll be requiring a ‘Release note’ mentioning the features and bug IDs addressed in the build along with other details.

2. Then we must carry out a smoke test on the build to accept it for more rigorous testing.

3. The 70% pass percentage of the smoke test would be the acceptance criteria for the build.

4. Once the build is accepted, the test case execution will begin and

5. The bugs identified will be logged in the respective project management tools.

6. A test summary report will be shared upon completion of testing.

All these low-level guidelines documented is a test strategy document.

While test planning goes hand in hand during the project planning phase and initiation of the project, test strategy on the other hand keeps evolving during the project development process and may change on a conditional basis as per the progress of the project. Test strategy is more of conditional execution of testing task – “if this then that.” The test strategy document contains protocols and instructions which determine the execution of a testing task. There are numerous things that can be strategized in a software test plan. Strategizing automation plan, strategizing stress and load testing plan, Strategizing nonfunctional testing, Strategizing functional testing, and so on.

In some cases, a test strategy is defined in the test plan document itself. But in larger projects where the scope of testing is immense and lots of non-functional testing also needs to be done, in such cases, a separate test strategy document is prepared which list down the approach and guidelines for carrying out the testing.

Common Mistakes In Home Loan EMI Calculations

Home loans are complex yet worthwhile products as they offer you a chance to own your dream home. There are, however, a few mistakes that people make while making their home loan EMI calculations. Understand and avoid the same to make better financial choices.

1. People don’t undertake extensive research.

Any potential borrower can go online and find out important details from reliable third-party websites. Bank websites also promote their own products and services. There are also ample other websites that offer home loan EMI calculators in India . In addition, they also offer sophisticated financial advice on home loan calculations. Availing these services help you to understand the potential expenses that you are normally unaware about.

2. Factor in the minor expenses.

There are several expenses included in the home loan calculations, some of which are trivial and don’t seem to be important enough today. However, they are sizable collectively. Hence, it is important to take them into account from the start. Here are a few examples of such minor yet relevant expenses:

• HLPP
• Stamp duty
• Processing fees
• Additional expenses during the loan term such as prepayment penalties, switching charges

When you use the home loan calculator in India , include these amounts in your principal amount before you calculate your EMI.

3. People rush to seal the deal.

Most borrowers are in a hurry to complete this process. There is nothing wrong with that; however, in a hurry, they tend to ignore important details. Some of these include:

• Credit Score: People understand that their credit score affects the loan in more ways than one. Yet, people don’t take the time to improve it before applying for a loan. This small step is crucial for loan approval and better interest rates.

• Negotiating Interest Rates: You can negotiate the interest rates with the home loan officers. This practice is neither announced nor encouraged. But, people who are patient enough to ask and negotiate can avail it.

• Terms and Conditions: Very few people attempt to understand the terms and conditions for the loan. This document includes quite a few important conditions for the home loan. For example, most people opt for fixed interest rates, assuming they remain unchanged. Yet, the fact is that it is higher than floating interest rates and susceptible to change over a period of time.

Most investors and business owners, who avail home loan services frequently for their businesses, understand these principles and incorporate them. Thus, it is important to examine your loan applications, credit scores, repayment strategies and relations with banking officers to get the best results possible.

Understand Your Expenses With Home Loan Calculations

Most expenses for a home loan seem small as compared to the principal amount, due to which people fail to take them into account and include them in the principal amount. Thus, it should come as no surprise when the final home loan calculations bring about EMIs that are shockingly huge to pay. It makes sense, thus, to include these minor expenses in your principal amount while calculating your EMIs with the home loan EMI calculators in India .

Processing fees:

It is a tiny percent of your principal amount and can even be waived off in certain cases. In most banks, it can be anywhere up to 1%. However, the final processing fee will be charged along with the requisite service tax.

Stamp duty:

This amount was earlier included in the principal loan; however, from mid-2012, this amount must be paid in its entirety separately. So, calculate the stamp duty and set aside sufficient funds for it like you would save up for the down payment. Since it costs up to 8% to 10% of the principal amount, you must include it in your home loan calculations carefully. As, you can’t pay it via EMIs, exclude it from the amount you enter in the home loan EMI calculators.

HLPP:

A home loan protection plan is a term insurance product for homes. You can pay it all at the start or you can pay it in monthly instalments. This choice mostly depends upon available funds after the down payment and stamp duty cost. If you plan to pay it on a monthly basis, you must include it accordingly in your EMI calculations.

Interest rate fluctuations:

These are really challenging to anticipate. Most people fail to include them in the home loan calculators in India . But, for floating and fixed interest rates, these fluctuations are very common. So it would be smart to make a few rough calculations to observe their impact on your EMIs. You should be in a position to pay off the EMIs in spite of the variations as they would occur eventually. Therefore, don’t plan your EMIs in such a way that there is no money left for these additional expenses.

It is imperative to foresee all these factors and understand their impact on your total expenses. A smart strategy would be to keep sufficient room in your monthly cash flow for these additional expenses. So, plan smart and choose well for your dream home.