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August 17, 2023

Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC)

The best time to establish protocols with your clients is when you onboard them.


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The Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC) is a series of particular tasks carried out throughout the testing process to guarantee that software quality objectives are accomplished. STLC includes both validation and verification steps. Contrary to popular opinion, testing is not the only action involved in software testing. It comprises of a sequence of steps taken methodically to support the certification of your software application.

What is the purpose of the STLC?

We may assume that STLC contains a number of stages, including planning, control, implementation, standardization, and so forth because we can define it as a collection of testing measures. All of this suggests that the STLC is required not just for testing the developed product, but also for the following:

  • Addressing its issues at the beginning and most profitable stage of development
  • Enhancing the development process’s transparency and quality;
  • Maximizing control over the product’s quality throughout every phase of the SDLC;
  • Determining how the implementation of Agile, Scrum, SAFe, etc. influences the use of the testing life cycle;
  • Delivering an excellent product to both the client and the users.

The STLC’s function within the SDLC:

As previously established, the Software Testing Life Cycle and the Software Development Life Cycle are closely related, yet they simultaneously pursue various tasks with the same aim, namely:

  • Gathering the specifications in the preferred format and creating the stated functionality (as for the SDLC).
  • Examining the requirements, aiding the client and the development team, and evaluating the effectiveness of the feature implemented (as for the STLC).

Achieving the best score at the Verification and Validation stages and ensuring client satisfaction are the main objectives.

STLC Phases

The STLC is a high-quality strategy directly associated with and part of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), which in turn is a framework with 6 core principles:

  • Requirement Analysis
  • Test Planning
  • Test case development
  • Test Environment setup
  • Test Execution
  • Test Cycle closure

The SDLC can be thought of as a cycle where decisions made at one stage are reflected in later stages.

The STLC has stages as well, and the fifth stage, which I’ll discuss below, is where it most nearly resembles the SDLC.

What does STLC’s entry and exit criteria mean?

Entry Criteria: The prerequisite things that must be done before testing can begin are listed in the Entry Criteria.

Exit Criteria: These are the tasks that must be achieved before testing may be completed.

You have Entry and Exit Criteria for all levels in the Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC)

Requirement Analysis:

Requirement analysis is the process through which the test team analyses the requirements from a testing perspective to pinpoint testable needs. The QA team may also engage in a discussion with other stakeholders to fully comprehend the requirements. There are two types of requirements: functional and non-functional. In this stage, the automation feasibility for the testing project is also determined.

Requirement phase testing activities:

  • Determine the different sorts of tests to be run.
  • Obtain information on the focus and priorities of the test.
  • Create a Requirement Traceability Matrix (RTM).
  • Determine the specifics of the test environment where the testing is to be done.
  • Analyzing the feasibility of automation (if required).

Requirement phase testing outputs:

  • RTM
  • Report on the feasibility of automation (if applicable)

Test Planning:

A Senior QA manager decides the test plan strategy, together with the project’s effort and cost estimates, during the test planning phase of the STLC. Additionally, the testing schedule, test environment, resource requirements, and test limits are established. In the same step, the Test Plan is created and finalized.

Planning activities for tests:

  • Making a test plan or strategy document for a variety of tests
  • Choosing a testing tool
  • Estimating test effort
  • Role and responsibility analysis and resource planning
  • Training is required.

Products of Test Planning:

  • Test Plan
  • Test Strategy
  • Effort Estimation document.

Test Case Development:

After the test strategy is complete, the test cases and test scripts are created, verified, and revised throughout the Test case development phase. The Test data is initially located, prepared, examined, and then revised in accordance with the preconditions. The QA team then begins the process of creating test cases for specific units.

Activities for Developing Test Cases:

  • Make test cases and automated scripts (if applicable)
  • Examine and scripts for baseline test scenarios
  • Create test data (If Test Environment is available)

Test case development products:

  • Test scripts and cases
  • Test results

Test Environment Setup:

The software and hardware requirements under which a work product is evaluated are determined by the Test environment setup. It can be done concurrently with the Test Case Development Phase and is one of the crucial components of testing. If the development team provides the test environment, the test team may not participate in this activity. The test group must do a readiness assessment (smoke testing) of the provided environment.

Activities to Set Up the Test Environment:

  • Recognize the necessary architecture, set up the environment, and generate a list of the hardware and software requirements for the test environment.
  • Setup test data and environments
  • Run a smoke test on the construction

Products of Test Environment Configuration:

  • Setting up the testing environment and test data
  • Test results for smoke.

Test Execution:

The testers do testing of the software build based on test plans and test cases that have been generated. The procedure includes Test script execution, script maintenance, and defect reporting. If errors are discovered, the project is returned to the development team for rectification and retesting.

Test Execution Activities:

  • Carry out tests as planned
  • Record test results and flaws for cases that failed
  • In RTM, map defects to test cases
  • Test the corrected issues again
  • Follow up on the issues until they are resolved

Products of Test Execution:

  • RTM completed and in execution status
  • Updated test scenarios with results
  • Reports of errors

Test Cycle Closure:

The test execution is finished during the Test cycle closure phase, which includes numerous tasks such test completion reporting, gathering test completion matrices, and gathering test results. Members of the testing team meet to discuss and analyze testing artefacts in order to determine future tactics that must be implemented based on lessons learned from the current test cycle. The goal is to get process bottlenecks out of the way for upcoming test cycles.

Activities to Close the Test Cycle:

  • Based on time, test coverage, cost, software, critical business objectives, and quality, evaluate the cycle completion criteria.
  • Create test metrics using the aforementioned criteria.
  • Record the knowledge gained from the project.
  • Prepare closing test report
  • Quality of work product reporting to the customer, both qualitative and quantitative.
  • Analyzing test results to determine the distribution of defects by kind and severity

Test Cycle Closure Deliverables:

  • Report on Test Closure
  • Test statistics


Now that we understand what the STLC in software testing is and what it is used for, we can predict how the graph of interaction between the STLC and the SDLC will look:

I hope you learned something from this article. If you liked this post, don’t forget to share it with your network.\

August 17, 2023
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