Software Testing Life Cycle

Software Testing Life Cycle

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Updated on Oct 13, 2023 14:25 IST

STLC(Software Testing Life Cycle) is a sequence of steps being followed while doing software testing.This article will explain you different phases of testing life cycle with example and in a very simple way.


Software testing, an integral part of the development process, helps developers catch bugs in the system before users get stuck with it. Testing is also essential to ensuring that a product complies with standards and regulations. Essentially, testing is critical to ensuring software quality; as such, it’s essential to ensure that testing is done correctly.In this article we will understand Software Testing Life Cycle with real life example.

What is the Software Testing Life Cycle?

A software testing life cycle (STLC) is a set of specific activities performed during the testing process to ensure that the quality objectives of the software are met. STLC includes both verification and validation activities. Contrary to popular belief, software testing is not just a single/isolated activity: testing. It consists of a series of activities that are systematically performed to support the certification of software products. 

Phases of software testing life cycle

A software test is a sequence of activities carrying out a mathematical or engineering test to help verify or invalidate your software’s capabilities. The activities of the test include:

  • Testing code.
  • Writing test cases.
  • Conducting dive tests.
  • Generating report cards or similar visual aids.


1. Requirement Analysis

One of the activities of any software test is ensuring that all relevant requirements are met. This is often achieved by conducting a requirement analysis to understand your customers’ needs and what your product can do or serve. The purpose of the analysis is to show whether your customer requirements are correctly or not correctly met. You can use the analysis to design your model, plan your features, or generate customer report cards.

Let me explain it with a real-life example: A customer who wants to make an e-commerce website. He will have different requirements like

  • Login from Facebook, Linkedin, or google account.
  • Loading time should be less.
  • Adding/removing items from the cart.
  • The website should work on all browsers.

So the testing team will understand the requirements and inform the developing team accordingly, and user stories are prepared.

2. Test Planning

Creating a solid test plan ensures that all tests are performed and documented correctly. It also ensures that all planned testing activities are carried out without any accidents or delays in delivery dates. As you can see, ensuring quality software is easier with a solid plan. If waterfall model is being followed then test plans are prepared and if agile model is followed then planning is done iteration wise.

In this phase the senior QA manager establishes a test planning strategy along with project effort and cost estimates. Additionally, resources, test environments, test limits, and test plans are determined.

  • Creation of test plan/strategy documents for various test types  
  • Choosing a test tool  
  • Estimated test effort  
  • Resource planning and definition of roles and responsibilities. 
  • Need for training
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3. Test Case Development

A software test is a sequence of activities carrying out a mathematical or engineering test to help verify or invalidate your software’s capabilities. The test activities include testing code, writing test cases, and generating report cards or similar visual aids. 

Next, you will choose the best test case to execute. This is usually the responsibility of a Quality Manager or the Quality Architect. Next, you will produce a test report, which includes the details of the execution, a code sample, and a description of what happened during the execution. This information helps engineers understand what was tested, who validated what was tested, and what the expected results were.

  • Writing test cases, and automation scripts (if applicable)
  • Review test cases and scripts to create fundamental values 
  • Create test data (if you have a test environment)

4. Test Environment Setup

The test environment setup determines the software and hardware conditions under which the work product will be tested. This can be the workstation where the test case is created or a computer with a development server. The workstation should have the tools and functionality to run the test cases. For instance, if you are creating a single test case and using a virtual machine, you will need to provide virtual machines with appropriate software, virtual machine images, and tools. In either case, you will also need an adequate storage space to store the test cases.

Continuing the same example, the e-commerce website, after getting launched, will be visible in a test environment where you can experience the look and feel of it and can add/remove features.

  • Understand the required architecture, how to set up the environment, and Create a list of hardware and software requirements for your test environment. 
  • Set up your test environment and test data

5. Test Execution Phase

Once the test environment has been set up and the tools and functions required to run the test cases have been provisioned, it’s time to run the test case. Depending on your requirements, this can be completed on a workstation or virtual machine. This can be a code sample, a report card, or a quick overview of the test case.

Continuing the same example, Features of e-commerce websites are verified, like if items can be added and removed from the cart, notifications appearing on the website, etc.

  • Run tests according to the plan 
  • Document test results and log errors for failed cases 
  • Test the fix again 
  • Track defects to completion

6. Test Cycle Closure

This includes several activities such as test completion reporting, test completion matrix collection, and test results. You will catch up with other teams, take the next significant step in the testing process, and discuss future test strategies. A report is generated, including the details like the time spent, the percentage of bugs found versus positive test results, and the total number of bugs found and fixed.

  • Evaluate cycle completion criteria based on time, test coverage, cost, software, critical business objectives, and quality 
  • Prepare a test metric based on the above parameters. 
  • Document what you learned from your project 
  • Preparation of final test report 
  • Qualitatively and quantitatively report the quality of work results to the customer. 
  • Test result analysis to determine the distribution of errors by type and severity.


The testing process is a critical process within the software engineering process. It entails several activities, such as writing and running test cases, generating report cards, and moving on to the next. Each activity of the testing process is crucial to the success of an application. Since each activity is necessary for the success of an application, it’s essential to understand the process and how it is implemented. As each activity is necessary for the success of an application, it’s essential to understand the process and how it is implemented.

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What are the phases of STLC?

Requirements Analysis Test Planning Test Design Test Environment Setup Test Execution Test Closure

What is the purpose of the test completion phase?

1. Confirm exam completion 2. Collecting and Sending Test Artifacts 3. Hold a retrospective meeting to come up with lessons learned

What is Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC)?

A software testing lifecycle refers to a testing process that includes specific steps that must be performed in a specific order to ensure that quality objectives are met. In the STLC process each activity is planned and executed systematically. Each phase has different goals and outcomes. Different organizations have different stages of STLC.

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