It is the entire life cycle which is followed by the testing team as part of the software development life cycle (SDLC). Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC) is a subset of SDLC. STLC starts with test planning followed by test cases preparation and execution and finally submission of the Test Summary Report. For any defects found, the testing team has to perform defect retesting followed by a regression testing. If all the test cases are passed in the regression testing, that ends the process.

Phases of Software Testing Life Cycle

Let’s understand in detail the phases involved in Software Testing Life Cycle

Test Planning

This is the 1st phase of the Testing life cycle. Before the requirement gathering phase is complete (Read this – Why requirement gathering is the most important phase of a project?), the Test Lead of the project with the help of the Business Analyst understands the business requirements in details which will help the Test Lead to prepare the Master Test Plan (Read this – 3 mandatory documents every Test Lead should provide). In the Test Planning phase, the Test Lead plans how he/she is going to proceed with Testing with respect to test cases identification, test cases execution, Test Schedule (test case preparation, test cases execution, defect retesting & regression testing), Level 2 estimation of efforts required by the testing team. Test Lead will deliver Master Test Plan popularly known as MTP as part of the documentation activity.

Test Case Development

It is the second phase of STLC. The Test Lead along with the tester creates the test cases which will be executed as part of the testing cycle. The Test cases will include both positive and negative test cases and any other test cases which business team wants the testing team to execute. Test Cases Summary is the deliverable as part of this phase wherein all the steps for each test case is mentioned at a detailed level. The Test Lead also takes helps of the Business Analyst who reviews the test cases and provides her inputs.

Test Case Execution & Test Results Preparation

The 3rd phase of STLC is Test Execution phase. This is the phase in which the actual testing is performed. The execution is performed by the Test Lead or the tester (If the project can accommodate testers). All the test cases are executed in this phase and the outcome is documented as Test pass/fail. A detailed document is created post the execution phase completion and presented to the project stakeholders.

Defect Retesting

For all the failed test cases, the development team looks at them and work on fixing the bug. Once the bugs are fixed, the development team performs a unit testing and hand it over to the Testing team for defect retesting. Test Lead/Tester executes all the failed test cases and submits their finding.

Regression Testing

After completion of defect retesting, the testing team also performs a round of regression testing. The regression testing is done to ensure that no new defects arose on account of resolving the open defects. As part of regression testing, the testing team executes all the test cases.

Test Closure

On successful completion of regression testing, as an independent consultant, Test Manager signs off the STLC and informs the Project Manager to start working on the UAT phase.