Quality Assurance and Project Management

Aug 14 2008   10:35AM GMT

Twelve essential Steps of Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC)

Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja

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Hardware

STLC (Software Testing Life Cycle) is an integral component of SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle). Gone are the times when any software was made on the basis of its requirements and the moment it used to get completed by the development team, it got released to the customer. But now, Testing has become a distinct phenomenon during and after the development of software. No software is released to the customer without a comprehensive testing by QC or Testing team in the organization. The Scope and Methodology may vary from product to product, customer to customer, and organization to organization. There are certain aspects of Software Testing Life Cycle. To name top few among them, I would like to list twelve essential steps of Software Testing Life Cycle.

The Steps are to be followed from the start of Testing of software to the end of the testing as follows:
1- Before the dynamic testing, there is a static testing. Static testing includes review of documents required for the software development. This includes following activities:

(a) All the documents related to customer requirements and business rules that are required
for software design and development should be handed over to QA. These documents
should be complete and dually signed by client and representative of the company
(usually Project Manager).

(b) QA reviews these documents. The reviewing of documents includes comprehensive and
thorough study of the documents. If any discrepancy is found then it should be noted
and raised in the review meeting with the Development team.

(c) After this there should be a formal meeting between the QA and development team
regarding these documents, the agenda of this meeting mainly includes what is missing in
the document, QA queries to be answered by Development/Project Team and/or
clarification required for any confusions.

2- After the Software development or build of a module, QA starts dynamic testing. If during the development the requirement has been changed on customer demand or due to any other reason, then that should be documented and a copy of this revised document is given to the QA and also discussed as explained in point 1 above.

3- Development and Testing environment should be made clear to the QA by the Development team. It include the following activities:
(a)- Server to hit for Testing
(b)- Installation of latest build on the test server.
(c)- Modules/Screens to test.
(d)- Test duration as decided by test manager and project manager mutually based on scope
of work and team strength.
(e)– Demo of the software on test server by development team to the QC members.

4- After this Test cases and test scenarios are prepared and then the Test execution by QC.

5- A comprehensive Report of Bugs is prepared by the Testers and a review/verification by QC/QA/Testing Head takes place. Before handing over this report to Development Team there is a thorough review of Bugs List by Test Manager and in case of any clarification required on a bug submitted, the Testing Head discusses the bugs with the assigned tester.

6- Release of bug report by QC Team to Development Team.

7- Discussion/simulation of bugs by QC with development team if development team requires and time required for fixing the bugs should be made clear by Dev team at this stage.

8- Feedback from Development team on reported bugs with the stipulated time frame required to fix all bugs.

9- Any changes in the software being made in respect to fix these bugs should be made clear to the QA team by the Development team.

10- Testing team then Retests or verifies the bugs fixed by the development team.

11- Submitting the retesting bug report to the Test manager and after this the step 5 to step 10 are followed until the product has reached a stage where it can be released to customer.

12- Criteria for ending the testing should be defined by management or Test Manager Like when all major bugs are reported and fixed. Major bugs mean the bugs that affect the Business of the Client.

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