Software Testing Life Cycle is a process followed by software industries to test the software products. STLC is the acronym for Software Testing Life Cycle. STLC process is followed strictly to ensure quality products are delivered to the customers within the planned schedule and cost.

Software testers will be highly involved in the testing process to make sure high standard software is developed. Whole Life Cycle defines and improves the overall software quality and test process.

STLC has six stages while each phase has its own deliverables and activities which serve as the entry criteria for the next phase.

  1. Requirement Analysis
  2. Test Planning
  3. Test Case Development
  4. Environment Setup
  5. Test Execution
  6. Test Closure Activity

Software Testing Life Cycle

Let’s explore each stage of STLC one by one with activities and deliverables.

  1. Requirement Analysis
  • Requirement analysis is the first phase of STLC
  • QA team interacts with the various stakeholders to understand the requirements
  • Analyze the requirements and define the scope of testing for the software
  • Design documents should also be reviewed to avoid potential design issues/bugs
  • QA also make sure that they are evident about the functional as well as the non-functional requirements
  • Analysis of the test environment also needs to be done in this phase, so that you will have clear picture about the environment where you supposed to execute tests
  • Automation testing feasibility for the software could be analyzed during this phase as well

Deliverable: Requirement Traceability Matrix (RTM), Automation feasibility Report

2. Test Planning

  • Test Planning is the second phase of STLC
  • Test Strategy is identified and test plan is created based on the analyzed requirements
  • Resources, Budget, Schedule are also planned by Managers for the project and finalize the test plan.
  • Automation tools are researched and selected (if automation is planned)
  • Roles and Responsibilities are assigned
  • Efforts are also estimated so that they can fix a deadline for the project
  • Identify the testing types for the software

Deliverable: Test Plan, Effort Estimation, Budget & Schedule Allocation, Resources Allocation, Automation tool Selection

3. Test Case Development

  • Test Case development is the third phase of STLC
  • Testers design detailed test cases based on requirements
  • Create test scripts for the test cases created
  • Identify the test data for the test cases
  • Developed test cases can be peer-reviewed and reworked based on the feedbacks
  • Automation test scripts and test cases are scripted using automation tool (if exists)

Deliverable: Test Cases, Test Scripts, Test Data, Automation Scripts (if applicable)

4. Environment Setup

  • Environment Setup is the fourth phase of STLC
  • Setup QA environment (Client/Server/Database/Utilities) that replicates end user requirements and needs
  • Environment setup is an independent activity, can be performed along with test case development phase
  • Test Environment setup differs, depends upon the company and the software under test
  • Also, QA team makes sure smoke test cases are in place to check the readiness of the software under test
  • Create snapshot of your environment, so that you can restore it back when needed (in case if you messed up)

Deliverable: Test Environment, Smoke Test Cases

5. Test Execution

  • Test Execution is the fifth phase of STLC
  • Designed test cases are executed based on the requirements
  • Both functional and non-functional test cases are executed (if applicable)
  • Validate test cases against the requirements, if test work as expected, mark it as Passed
  • If validation fails and if it deviates from the expected result, mark it as Failed
  • Log bugs and assign them to developers
  • Retest fixed bugs and make sure it has been verified and closed
  • Link bugs to the test cases (orphan bugs are difficult to track)
  • Automation test scripts are executed and results are recorded
  • Document test results for sign off

Deliverable: Test Execution Results, Bug report

6. Test Closure Activity

  • Test Closure Activity is the Sixth phase of STLC
  • Lessons learned document is prepared so that in future can be referred
  • Test Summary report is created
  • Backup of test cases, scripts and data are taken for future reuse
  • Best practices are also shared across the team so that it will be useful for future test cycles
  • Reports are also generated for reporting purposes
  • Test metrics are also prepared

Deliverable: Test Summary Report, Lessons Learnt Documentation, Defect Metrics, Final Test Results, and Bug Reports

Note: STLC phases do not necessarily should have to be in order, they can be performed simultaneously as well like Test Case Development and Environment setup.

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In my next post will learn about Waterfall Model.

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