Software Testing Life Cycle-STLC

    • Process of testing software in a systematic procedure to deliver quality software is known as STLC.
    •  It begins with test initiation phase followed by test planning, test designing, test execution, test reporting and finally ends with test closure.

    Fig: Testing process in a development life cycle

    The Fig shows a wide picture of a testing process carried out in a development life cycle.  A coded build is sent for testing wherein various test inputs are applied on the build to find out the results. If the build fails a test, defect is analyzed and sent again for coding to development team. This loop continues till the build is defect free. The output of this process is a complete stable build that meets the requirement specifications.

    Software Testing Phases

    Fig: Phases in STLC with their outputs marked in bullet

    Let us now see what happens in each phase.

    Test Initiation Phase of STLC

  • Usually system testing begins with Test Initiation where a Test manager selects certain reasonable Tests to be applied based on risks involved and requirement of the project to be tested.
  • SRS and Risks act as input to Test initiation phase and Test Strategy is prepared as output.

Fig: Test Initiation phase of Software Testing Life Cycle

Test planning phase in STLC

  • With the help of Test strategy document, Test lead prepares a Test Plan that defines ‘Who’ will test and ‘What’ to be tested, ‘When’ to be tested and ‘How’ to test.
  • During planning phase, following process is undertaken:
Team Formation
Identifying Risks
Prepare Test Plan
Review Test plans

  • After completion of review meeting, training sessions are done for selected testers to impart them with thorough understanding of project requirement.

Test Design phase in STLC

  • Test Designing is an act of preparing Test Cases.
  • After completion of necessary training sessions, testers begin selecting Test cases.
  • Every Test case defines a unique Test condition to validate software build in terms of usability*, functionality* and non-functionality.

Methods to Prepare Test Cases

  • Functional and System Specific Test Case Design
  • Used Case Specific Test Case Design
  • Application or Prototype based Test Case Design

Test Execution phase in STLC

  • Once a developed build is received by the testers, black box testing begins i.e. Execution of prepared test cases starts. This is Test Execution.

Test Reporting phase in STLC

  • While executing the test cases, tester reports the bug in Defect management tool.
  • Bug once fixed is send back to tester for regression testing where he re-executes the test case. If the test passes he marks it ‘Closed’ in the defect management tool else marks it ‘Reopen’.

Test Closure phase in STLC

  • The time when the amount of bug found in the build decreases to minimum after testing it rigorously for days, test closure is done.
  • Test closure depends on approval by client.


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