The last few years have seen an overwhelming evolution of the software testing industry giving way to greener pastures. As we already know, ensuring effective software application performance is one of the highlights of software testing. But, how does testing ensure that the software is running error-free? In this article, we will provide you with detailed knowledge about different stages involved in Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC).
Software Testing Life Cycle
Software Testing Life Cycle is defined as, a series of activities conducted to perform software testing. It identifies what test activities to carry out and when to accomplish those test activities. In the process of STLC, each activity is carried out in a planned and systematic way, and each phase has different goals and deliverables. Let us quickly see what are the different stages involved in a typical STLC.
Stages of Software Testing Life Cycle
There are six main stages in this life cycle. Each stage has its own entry and deliverable criteria. The stages are as follows;
- Requirement Analysis
- Test Planning
- Test Case Development
- Environment Setup
- Test Execution
- Test Cycle Closure
Let’s now discuss what all activities and deliverable are involved in each step in detail.
1. Requirement Analysis
This is the first stage in a Software Testing Life Cycle. Under this phase, one has to analyze and study the requirements. The organization, typically identifies the content, release theme and timeline. Requirement analysis involves a detailed analysis of risk involved and whether the requirements are testable or not. If any requirement is not testable, the test team can communicate with various stakeholders during this phase so that the mitigation strategy can be planned.
2. Test Planning
Under this stage, the test manager/test lead involved, determine the effort and cost estimates for the entire project. The actual engineering as well as writing the application keeping into consideration the requirements established in the first stage. Here, the testers identify the metrics and the method of gathering and tracking those metrics. The feasibility of the software project is tested after using different algorithms.
3. Test Case Development
Under the third stage, a code is built and integrated. This is the prime focus of the developers and it is one of the longest phases of the entire Software Testing Life Cycle. The test team prepares test cases, test scripts, and test data. Once everything is ready, the test cases will be reviewed by the peer member and the team lead. Here, the Requirement Traceability Matrix (RTM) is also prepared. The Requirement Traceability Matrix is an industry-accepted format for tracking requirements where each test case is mapped with the requirement. Using this RTM we can track backward & forward traceability.
4. Environment Setup
This phase can be parallelly started with the test design phase. The environment setup of the test is done on the basis of the hardware and software requirement list. In some cases, the test team may not be involved in this phase. Development team or customer provides the test environment. Meanwhile, the testing team should prepare the smoke test cases to check the readiness of the test environment setup.
5. Test Execution
In this phase, the testing team will start executing test cases based on the prepared test planning and priorly prepared test cases. Once this test case is passed then the same can be marked as Passed. If any test case is failed then the corresponding defect can be reported to the developer team via the bug tracking system & bug can be linked for a corresponding test case for further analysis. Also, if any of the test cases are blocked due to any defect then such test cases can be marked as Blocked, so we can get the report based on how many test cases passed, failed, blocked or not run etc
6. Test Cycle Closure
This is the final stage where the test closure report, test metrics are prepared. The testing team will be called out for a meeting to evaluate cycle completion criteria based on the test coverage, quality, time, cost, software, business objectives etc. Test team analyses the test artefacts (such as Test cases, Defect reports etc) to identify strategies that have to be implemented in future, which will help to remove process bottlenecks in the upcoming projects.
STLC planned and executed the right way can allow the highest level of management control and documentation. Developers understand what they should build and why. All parties agree on the goal up front and see a clear plan for arriving at that goal.
Let us now summarize the Software Testing Life Cycle with a table.
|STLC Stage||Entry Criteria||Deliverables|
|Requirement Analysis||Business Requirement Specification||List of all testable requirements, Automation feasibility report (if applicable)|
|Test Planning||Updated requirement documents and test feasibility reports||Test Plan document and Risk mitigation document|
|Test Case Development||Updated requirements document, Test conditions document||Detailed test condition document
Requirement traceability metrics
|Environment Setup||Test Plan, Smoke Test cases, Test Data||Test Environment. Smoke Test Results.|
|Test Execution||Test Plan document, Test cases, Test data, Test Environment.||Test case execution report, Defect report, RTM|
|Test Cycle Closure||Test Case Execution report (make sure there are no high severity defects opened), Defect report||Test Closure report, Test metrics|
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