What is Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC)?

While testing used to be limited to finding flaws, it is now more comprehensive and crucial from the start, even if the requirements aren't yet set in stone. In this blog, we will discuss what the software testing life cycle (STLC) is and its different stages. Let's dive in.

Nov 21, 2023
What is Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC)?
Testing is evolving in both concept and execution. More technical and process-oriented skills are now expected of developers and testers. While testing used to be limited to finding flaws, it is now more comprehensive and crucial from the start, even if the requirements aren't yet set in stone.
Because of the standardization of the testing process, like the development life cycle, testing too has a life cycle. In this blog, we will discuss what the software testing life cycle (STLC) is and its different stages. Let's dive in.
Table of contents:
  • What is software testing life-cycle
  • Requirement Analysis
  • Test Planning
  • Test case design and development
  • Test Environment Setup
  • Test Execution
  • Test Cycle Closure
  • Closing Thoughts

What is Software Testing Life Cycle?

A testing procedure has specific stages that the development team must complete in a specific order to confirm the efficiency and reliability of the software. Each step of the STLC process is meticulously planned and carried out. At each stage, the goals and outcomes differ. STLC phases differ from one organization to the next, but the fundamentals remain the same.
As a result of the software testing life cycle, developers can gain a better understanding of the current state of their systems and make recommendations for changes. You will plan your strategy and execute your test cycles as part of the STLC.

Software testing life cycle phases:

notion image

Requirement analysis

Most software development projects begin with software requirements, which outline the project's expectations from the business. The software requirements phase includes high-level business demands and architectural requirements. It also details how to create and implement functionality and specific system requirements.
Both functional and non-functional requirements provide opportunities for system testing and validation.
Throughout this software testing life cycle phase, software testers collaborate within and outside of functional teams to contextualize their testing methods. When performing requirement analysis, it is common to hold brainstorming sessions, identify gaps in the requirements, and prioritize various analyses.
When there is uncertainty or a lack of requirements specification, the QA team will consult with the development or business teams to help define and plan the testing strategy.

Test Planning

Findings from requirements or product analysis become a formalized quality assurance strategy with test planning.
The testing team's leader decides on the resources and efforts needed to analyze a release. A well-documented test plan keeps everyone, from testers to other teams in sync. When other parts of the organization, such as programmers performing unit tests and producing hotfixes, are involved in testing and issue resolution, this method becomes even more beneficial to everyone.

Pro-Tip: How to Write a Test Plan

  • Analyze the software
  • Plan a test strategy
  • Define test goals
  • Outline testing standards
  • Finalize testing environment
  • Plan a schedule
  • Gather deliverables/testing reports
The scope, objectives, types of automated and manual tests, and specifications, are all laid out in the test plan for quality assurance (QA) initiatives. Once test management has established these elements, the responsibilities and deadlines for the task are established. After the   successfully completed, it is finally possible to determine what deliverables the testing team will produce.

Test Case Design & Development

Following the successful completion of test planning, test cases are executed. During this phase, the testing team begins developing and executing test cases. When necessary, the testing team compiles test data as well as writes down specific test cases. Team members and/or the Quality Assurance leader evaluate the prepared test cases.
Here are a few software test case design techniques?
  • Specification-Based Techniques
  • Structure-Based Techniques
  • Experience-Based Techniques
During this step, an RTM (Requirement Traceability Matrix) is also created. This format is used in the industry to keep track of requirements. Each test is associated with a specific requirement. Backward and forward traceability are both possible with RTM.

Test environment setup

It is possible to start setting up the test environment while developing the test cases. As there can be no environmental testing, this is a critical step in the manual software testing process. A few pieces of software and hardware are required to build a test environment. Furthermore, senior engineers, not testers, oversee configuring the testing environment.

Test execution

During this stage of the software testing life cycle, the product must be thoroughly tested. At this stage of the STLC, testers execute as many test cases as possible. There are both functional and non-functional tests performed by QA personnel and automated scripts.
When does test execution start?
To avoid unwanted flaws and testing delays, the test manager must guarantee that the test execution begins only once the entry criteria have been met.
During the STLC, testers will identify and report specific flaws that occur during the execution of test cases, as well as track how well the system performs in comparison to its specifications. Testers frequently retest products after developers have fixed them to ensure that no new defects have popped up. To achieve efficiency and speed during the test execution, you must use automated testing tools whenever feasible.

Test cycle closure

All tests have been completed during the Test Cycle Closure phase, including reporting on their progress, collecting test completion matrices, and reviewing the results. Meetings and discussions are held among members of the test team to discuss future strategies, which are usually determined based on lessons and findings from the current test cycle. The goal here is to future-proof the testing procedure.

Closing Thoughts

The Software Testing Life Cycle can assist you in increasing the efficiency of software testing and streamlining the process. Testing and evaluation tooling requirements, as well as other factors, must be considered during each phase. However, it is something that can be easily overcome with advanced planning.
Additionally, during the testing phase, you will require an efficient mechanism for easily reporting bugs. Disbug is an easy-to-use bug reporting tool that can assist you in compiling data related to bugs and defects. You can create detailed bug reports by including console logs, technical information, visual elements, and other elements. Give it a shot.