Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC) is the testing process which is executed in systematic and planned manner. In STLC process, different activities are carried out to improve the quality of the product. Let’s quickly see what all stages are involved in typical Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC).

Following steps are involved in Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC). Each step is having its own Entry Criteria and deliverable.

  • Requirement Analysis
  • Test Planning / Strategy phase
  • Test Case Development
  • Environment Setup
  • Test Execution
  • Test Cycle Closure or Test Closure Activity


Requirement Analysis: Requirement Analysis is the very first step in Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC). In this step Quality Assurance (QA) team understands the requirement in terms of what we will testing & figure out the testable requirements. If any conflict, missing or not understood any requirement, then QA team follow up with the various stakeholders like Business Analyst, System Architecture, Client, Technical Manager/Lead etc to better understand the detail knowledge of requirement.

Test Planning: Test Planning is most important phase of Software testing life cycle where all testing strategy is defined. This phase also called as Test Strategy phase. In this phase typically Test Manager (or Test Lead based on company to company) involved to determine the effort and cost estimates for entire project. This phase will be kicked off once the requirement gathering phase is completed & based on the requirement analysis, start preparing the Test Plan.

 Test Case Development: The test case development activity is started once the test planning activity is finished. This is the phase of STLC where testing team write down the detailed test cases. Along with test cases testing team also prepare the test data if any required for testing. Once the test cases are ready then these test cases are reviewed by peer members or QA lead.

Test Environment Setup: Setting up the test environment is vital part of the STLC. Basically test environment decides on which conditions software is tested. This is independent activity and can be started parallel with Test Case Development. In process of setting up testing environment test team is not involved in it.

Test Execution: Once the preparation of Test Case Development and Test Environment setup is completed then test execution phase can be kicked off. In this phase testing team start executing test cases based on prepared test planning & prepared test cases in the prior step.

Test Cycle Closure: Call out the testing team member meeting & evaluate cycle completion criteria based on Test coverage, Quality, Cost, Time, Critical Business Objectives, and Software. Discuss what all went good, which area needs to be improve & taking the lessons from current STLC as input to upcoming test cycles, which will help to improve bottleneck in the STLC process. Test case & bug report will analyze to find out the defect distribution by type and severity.

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