Book A.

Book B.
7150 Requirements Guidance

Book C.

References, & Terms

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1. Requirements

3.4.1 The project shall establish and maintain:
        a.    Software Test Plan(s).
        b.    Software Test Procedure(s).
        c.    Software Test Report(s).

1.1 Notes

The requirements for the content of a Software Test Plan, Software Test Procedure, and Software Test Report are defined in Chapter 5 [of NPR 7150.2, NASA Software Engineering Requirements, Sections 5.1.3, 5.2.6, and 5.3.2, respectively].

1.2 Applicability Across Classes

Class D and Not Safety Critical and class G are labeled with "P (Center)." This means that an approved Center-defined process which meets a non-empty subset of the full requirement can be used to achieve this requirement.





2. Rationale

Having plans and procedures in place increases the likelihood that all necessary and required tasks are performed and performed consistently. Development of plans and procedures provides the opportunity for stakeholders to give input and assist with the documentation and tailoring of the planned testing activities to ensure the outcome will meet the expectations and goals of the project. Test reports ensure that results of verification activities are documented and stored in the configuration management system for use in acceptance reviews or readiness reviews.


Ensuring the test plans, procedures, and reports follow templates ensures consistency of documents across projects, ensures proper planning occurs, ensure proper activity and results are captured, and prevents repeating problems of the past.



3. Guidance

Projects create test plans, procedures and reports following the content requirements in SWE-104, SWE-114, and SWE-118. This Handbook provides guidance for each of these NPR 7150.2 requirements.

Once these documents are created, they need to be maintained to reflect current project status, progress, and plans, which will change over the life of the project. When requirements change (SWE-071), test plans, procedures and the resulting test reports may also need to be updated or revised to reflect the changes. Changes to test plans and procedures may result from:

  • Inspections/peer reviews of documentation.
  • Inspections/peer reviews of code.
  • Design changes.
  • Code maturation and changes (e.g., code changes to correct bugs or problems found during testing, interfaces revised during development).
  • Availability of relevant test tools that were not originally part of the test plan (e.g., tools freed up from another project, funding becomes available to purchase new tools).
  • Updated software hazards and mitigations (e.g., new hazards identified, hazards eliminated, mitigations are added or revised).
  • Execution of the tests (e.g., issues found in test procedures).
  • Test report/results analysis (e.g., incomplete, insufficient requirements coverage).
  • Changes in test objectives or scope.
  • Changes to schedule, milestone, or budget changes.
  • Changes in test resource numbers or availability (e.g., personnel, tools, facilities).
  • Changes to software classification or safety criticality (e.g., a research project not intended for flight becomes destined for use on the International Space Station (ISS)).
  • Process improvements relevant to test activities.
  • Changes in the project that affects the software testing effort.

Just as the initial test plans, procedures, and reports require review and approval before use, the project team ensures that updates are also reviewed and approved following project procedures.

Maintaining accurate and current test plans, procedures, and reports continues into the operation and maintenance phases of a project.


Consult Center Process Asset Libraries (PALs) for Center-specific guidance and resources related to test plans, procedures, and reports, including templates and examples. 

Additional guidance related to test plans, procedures, and reports may be found in the following related requirements in this Handbook:




Update Plans and Procedures




Software Test Plan




Software Test Procedures




Software Test Report


4. Small Projects

No additional guidance is available for small projects. The community of practice is encouraged to submit guidance candidates for this paragraph.



5. Resources





6. Lessons Learned

The NASA Lessons Learned database contains the following lessons learned related to insufficiencies in software test plans: