Test analysis and test design

Many times I get asked to explain what is test analysis and test design.

Test analysis:

This is primarily an exercise to study the software requirements and understand the scenarios that need to be tested. Study the requirements, talk to various stake holders in case of queries you get from studying the software requirements and come up with high level test requirements / test scenarios. This requires to understand the external and internal impact a certain requirement would have on the customer or other integrated products / modules.

Test design:

This is breaking down of the high level software test requirements / test scenarios into more granular tests which can be executed and monitored for test coverage. The tests should be designed not only to cover positive flows but also negative cases.

Typically the test plan would list the features to be tested that were derived from the test analysis exercise. The test cases document / tool would use this as a section under which more granular tests would be written.

Hope this helps.

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