A test objective (goal) is a statement of what the test team or tester is expected to accomplish during a specific testing activity. Test objectives, are usually defined during requirements analysis, and guide the development of test cases, test scripts, and test data.
Test objectives enhance communication both within and outside the project team by defining the scope of the testing effort, and enabling the test manager and project manager to gauge testing progress and success.
Each test objective should contain a statement of purpose and a high level description of the expected results stated in measurable terms. Completion criteria for test objectives define the success measure for the tests. Test objectives can be easily derived using the system requirements documentation, the test strategy, results of the risk assessment, and the test team assignments. Test objectives are not simply a restatement of the system’s requirements, but the actual way in which the system will be tested in order to assure that the system objective has been met. If requirements are lacking or poorly written, then the test team must have a defined method for uncovering and defining test objectives. Techniques to consider include brainstorming, relating test objectives to the system outputs, developing use cases or relating test objectives to events or system inputs.