Process Area 2.1 – Test Policy and Strategy – SG 1 – Establish a test policy

A test policy, aligned with the business (quality) policy, is defined and agreed by the stakeholders.


This Specific Goal looks to ensure that test goals are defined, based on business needs, and that a policy based on those goals is defined and distributed to stakeholders.

Specific Practices

SP 1.1 Define test goals

First you need to understand the business context and the requirements of quality (and therefore testing) within the organisation. Once understood (and clarified, if necessary) a clear set of organisational goals of testing can be defined. The goals may be generic – for example, ‘prevent defects in production’.

SP 1.2 Define test policy

From these agreed organisational goals, a test policy is defined. This means documenting in clear, unambiguous terms what will be undertaken to achieve the goals, including:

  • a definition of test levels
  • objectives of testing
  • definition of debugging.

The goals reflect the business needs and the policy defines what must be undertaken to achieve the goals. Both are at a high level.

SP 1.3 Distribute the test policy to stakeholders

The Model also looks to ensure the goals and policy are publicised, available and referenced by all stakeholders. ‘Stakeholder’ means any resource in the organisation.

Deployment notes

  • Has the business context and needs been interpreted into a clear set of goals or objectives of the test function?
  • Have the goals been defined in quantitative, understandable terms?
  • Are there policy statements that clearly define what is to be done covering all test activities?
  • Is there clear direction on what the test and debug activities are?
  • Are these both reviewed and agreed with all stakeholders, publicised and distributed?
  • Is everyone aware of their existence and purpose?