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Software Test Life Cycle (STLC) Importance

Feb 15, 2023
8 min read

Software testing is a crucial component of the software development life cycle as it helps to ensure that the software meets the client’s requirements and goals. The primary objective of software testing is to identify and address defects and errors prior to implementation, as addressing them after deployment can result in high costs and negatively impact the business.

By testing software, you can maintain its quality, build user trust, and reduce maintenance costs. There are various approaches to software testing, but the most effective method is one that aligns with agile principles and enables rapid testing. In this blog post, we will provide an overview of the software testing life cycle (STLC) and discuss the various stages of software testing.

What is Software Testing Life Cycle?

In simple terms, STLC is a series of well-defined activities that software testers must complete to ensure software quality. Each step in the software testing process must be carried out systematically and in sequence, with different goals and deliverables at the end of each phase.

While different companies may have their own STLC, the fundamental structure of the testing procedure remains the same. Essentially, it is a method that formalizes how the testing process is conducted

Stages of Software Testing Life Cycle

Testing during the software development process requires close attention to detail and methodical approach. This is why software testing is broken down into different stages:

  • 01
    Requirements Analysis
  • 02
    Test Planning
  • 03
    Test Case Design
  • 04
    Test Environment Setup
  • 05
    Test Execution
  • 06
    STLC Closure

Every stage comprises particular tasks and outcomes that guarantee thorough evaluation of the software and fulfill the demands of end-users. To understand software testing life cycle, let’s explore each stage in detail and its respective testing levels.

1. Requirements Analysis

The first step of STLC is Requirement Analysis. In this stage, testers analyze the software requirements to ensure they are clear, complete, and testable. This is important to ensure that the software is developed according to the specifications.

During the Requirement Analysis stage, the following activities take place:

  • 01
    Reviewing the software requirements document (SRD) and other related documents
  • 02
    Conducting interviews with stakeholders to gather additional information
  • 03
    Identifying ambiguities or inconsistencies in the requirements
  • 04
    Identifying missing or incomplete requirements
  • 05
    Identifying potential risks or issues that may impact the testing process
  • 06
    Creating a requirement traceability matrix (RTM) to map requirements to test cases

By the end of this stage, the testing team should have a clear understanding of the software requirements and any potential issues that may impact the testing process.

2. Test Planning

The following stage is referred to as Test Planning. In this phase, testers create a plan that outlines the testing strategy, objectives, timelines, and resources required for the software testing process. The plan is based on the software requirements, risk assessment, and the types of testing required.

During the Test Planning stage, the following activities take place:

  • 01
    Identification of testing objectives and scope
  • 02
    Development of test strategy by selecting the testing methods and techniques that will be used
  • 03
    Identification of testing environment and resources needed
  • 04
    Identification of test cases that will be executed and test data that will be used
  • 05
    Estimation of time and cost required for testing
  • 06
    Identification of test deliverables and milestones
  • 07
    Assignment of roles and responsibilities to the testing team
  • 08
    Review and approval of the test plan

By the conclusion of the this stage, the team should possess a comprehensive plan for the activities to be carried out, and a thorough comprehension of the objectives, scope, and deliverables. This will aid in ensuring that the testing process is well-structured and can provide superior results.

3. Test Case Design

Next phase of the STLC is called Case Design or Test Case Development. In this stage, the team create cases that describe the steps required to test the software. These cases should cover all possible scenarios to ensure detecting the maximum number of possible faults and issues in the software. The quality and efficiency of the test cases designed during this stage play a vital role in the overall success of the software testing process.

During the Test Case Design stage, the following activities take place:

  • 01
    Identification of the test cases that will be developed
  • 02
    Writing of test cases that are unambiguous, succinct, and easy to understand
  • 03
    Creation of test data and test scenarios that will be utilized in the test cases
  • 04
    Identification of the anticipated results for each test case
  • 05
    Review and validation of the test cases
  • 06
    Updating of the RTM to associate requirements with test cases

Upon completion of the Test Case Design stage, the testing team should possess a set of test cases that offer sufficient coverage of the software or application. This guarantees that the testing process is comprehensive and that all possible issues are detected and resolved prior to the release of the software.

4. Test Environment Setup

Once the Case Development is completed, the Environment Setup phase begins. In this stage, testers set up the required hardware, software, and testing tools to create an environment where testing can be performed effectively.

During the Environment Setup stage, the following activities take place:

  • 01
    Running test cases and scripts to identify defects or issues
  • 02
    Logging any defects found during test execution in a defect tracking system, including severity, priority, and a detailed description
  • 03
    Preparing and loading test data into the system for test execution
  • 04
    Setting up necessary hardware, software, and network configurations for test execution
  • 05
    Analyzing the results of the test execution to determine software performance and identify defects or issues
  • 06
    Retesting any defects found during test execution to ensure proper fixing
  • 07
    Documenting and reporting test results to relevant stakeholders for visibility into the testing process

5. Test Execution

The next step of STLC is Test Execution. In this phase, the actual testing is performed according to the test plan and developed cases. During this stage team execute the tests, document the results, and report any defects.

During the Test Execution stage, the following activities take place:

  • 01
    Running tests according to the previously created test plan
  • 02
    Recording the results of the tests and documenting any defects or issues that were found during testing
  • 03
    Updating the RTM to map defects to their corresponding test case
  • 04
    Re-testing any defects that were fixed to ensure that they have been resolved properly
  • 05
    Monitoring and tracking defects until they are fully resolved and closed

The results of the Test Execution stage include a completed RTM that shows the status of each requirement and whether it has been tested successfully or not. The test cases are updated with the results and any bugs found, documented, and tracked until they are resolved.

Some software development teams may have a separate stage for test reporting and fixing. In this stage, testers review the reported defects and prioritize them based on their severity and impact on the software. After resolving the issues, they conduct regression testing to ensure that the fixes have not introduced any new defects.

6. STLC Closure

The Test Closure stage is the final step in the STLC, which involves completing and documenting all testing-related activities. Its primary goal is to ensure that all previous phases have been finished, and that the software is ready for release.

During the test closure stage, the testing team gains a clear understanding of the software’s quality and reliability, and all defects or issues identified during testing should be addressed. Additionally, the software testing process is documented, and lessons learned are recorded to improve future testing processes.

The outcome of the STLC Closure typically includes:

  • 01
    A final report summarizing the overall process, including the number of test cases executed, defects found, and the pass/fail rate.
  • 02
    All defects identified during testing are tracked and managed until they are resolved.
  • 03
    The test environment is cleaned up, and all test data and artifacts are archived for future reference.
  • 04
    A report documenting all testing-related activities is created, including testing objectives, scope, schedule, and resources used.
  • 05
    Knowledge and feedback about the software and testing process are shared with the team and stakeholders to facilitate future maintenance and support.
  • 06
    Feedback from the testing process is collected and used to improve future testing processes.
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Testing Life Cycle in PFLB

Software testing life cycle are essential for successful software development and cost management. Late testing can cause project delays and affect the quality of the product, making it important to perform all stages of software testing diligently.

PFLB is a top software testing provider with a track record of over 300 successful projects across various industries, including banking, healthcare, and retail. We offer continuous testing, integration, and delivery, and leverage test automation to speed up product launches and lower costs.

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