Thursday, July 7, 2011

Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC)

Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC)

                                Software testing life cycle or STLC refers to a comprehensive group of testing related actions specifying details of every action along with the specification of the best time to perform such actions. There can not be a standardized testing process across various organizations, however every organization involved in software development business, defines & follows some sort of testing life cycle.

Software Testing Life Cycle consists of six (generic) phases:
  • Test Planning.
  • Test Analysis.
  • Test Design.
  • Construction and Verification.
  • Testing Cycles.
  • Final Testing and Implementation and
  • Post Implementation.

Test Planning:
                 This is the phase where Project Manager has to decide what things need to be tested, do I have the appropriate budget etc. Naturally proper planning at this stage would greatly reduce the risk of low quality software. This planning will be an ongoing process with no end point.
Activities at this stage would include preparation of high level test plan-(according to IEEE test plan template The Software Test Plan (STP) is designed to prescribe the scope, approach, resources, and schedule of all testing activities. The plan must identify the items to be tested, the features to be tested, the types of testing to be performed, the personnel responsible for testing, the resources and schedule required to complete testing, and the risks associated with the plan.). Almost all of the activities done during this stage are included in this software test plan and revolve around a test plan.

Test Analysis:

               Once test plan is made and decided upon, next step is to delve little more into the project and decide what types of testing should be carried out at different stages of SDLC, do we need or plan to automate, if yes then when the appropriate time to automate is, what type of specific documentation I need for testing.
                Proper and regular meetings should be held between testing teams, project managers, development teams, Business Analysts to check the progress of things which will give a fair idea of the movement of the project and ensure the completeness of the test plan created in the planning phase, which will further help in enhancing the right testing strategy created earlier. We will start creating test case formats and test cases itself. In this stage we need to develop Functional validation matrix based on Business Requirements to ensure that all system requirements are covered by one or more test cases, identify which test cases to automate, begin review of documentation, i.e. Functional Design, Business Requirements, Product Specifications, Product Externals etc. We also have to define areas for Stress and Performance testing.

Test Design:

                 After completion of Test planning & Test Analyzing, test lead will release the plan to a selected tester in current project. Those selected testers will receive a test plan & then studies System Requirement Specifications (SRS) to understand project requirements. After completion of SRS walkthrough & required training, testers are concentrating on Test Design.

There are two steps in test design such as:

  • High Level Test Design (HLTD)
  • Low Level Test Designs (LLTDs)

High Level Test Design (HLTD): In HLTD, Testers are preparing Test Scenarios. While writing Test Scenarios testers are concentrating on different ways, such as:

Low Level Test Designs (LLTDs): In LLTD, Testers are preparing Test Cases. Test scenarios a unique test condition but a test case specifies a step by step procedure to test that condition on SUT (Software under Testing).

Click Here for how to write Test Cases & Examples.

Construction and Verification:

                      In this phase we have to complete all the test plans, test cases, complete the scripting of the automated test cases, Stress and Performance testing plans needs to be completed. We have to support the development team in their unit testing phase. And obviously bug reporting would be done as when the bugs are found. Test executions are performed and errors (if any) are reported.

Click Here for more info on Stages of Test Executions.

Testing Cycles:

                   In this phase we have to complete testing cycles until test cases are executed without errors or a predefined condition is reached. Run test cases –> Report Bugs –> revise test cases (if needed) –> add new test cases (if needed) –> bug fixing –> retesting (test cycle 2, test cycle 3….).

Final Testing and Implementation:

                   In this we have to execute remaining stress and performance test cases, documentation for testing is completed / updated, provide and complete different matrices for testing. Acceptance, load and recovery testing will also be conducted and the application needs to be verified under production conditions.

Post Implementation:

                  In this phase, the testing process is evaluated and lessons learnt from that testing process are documented. Line of attack to prevent similar problems in future projects is identified. Create plans to improve the processes. The recording of new errors and enhancements is an ongoing process. Cleaning up of test environment is done and test machines are restored to base lines in this stage.

Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) 


Software Test Life Cycle (STLC)

SDLC (Software Development Life cycle)
STLC (Software Test Life Cycle)
SDLC is Software Development Lifecycle; it is a systematic approach to develop software.
The process of testing software in a well planned and systematic way is known as software testing life cycle (STLC).
Requirements Gathering or Documents Gathering
Requirements Analysis is done is this phase, software requirements are reviewed by test team.
Test Planning, Test analysis and Test design is done in this phase. Test team reviews design documents and prepares the test plan.
Coding or development
Test construction and verification is done in this phase, testers write test cases and finalizes test plan.
Test Execution and bug reporting, manual testing, automation testing is done, defects found are reported. Re-testing and Regression testing is also done in this phase.
Final testing and implementation is done is this phase and final test report is prepared.
Maintenance testing is done in this phase.

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