6 Key Phases of Testing in Software Testing

May 10, 2024Kiruthika Devaraj
6 Key Phases of Testing in Software Testing Lifecycle

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Did you know software errors cost the US economy an estimated $1.7 trillion annually? Or that software defects are responsible for 25% of total system failures? These statistics highlight the importance of software testing. The software testing life cycle encompasses activities executed during the testing phase. By following these six key testing phases, you can ensure that the final product is free from errors, glitches, and other issues that can hamper its performance.

The 6 phases of testing are Requirement analysis, Test planning, Test case development, Test environment setup, Test execution, and Test reporting. We will examine the best practices and techniques that can ensure the successful completion of each phase in detail and delve into each phase. By the end of this post, you will have a complete understanding of the key phases involved in software testing.

Phases of Testing

6 Key Phases of Testing

Here are the phases of software testing explained in detail.

1. Requirement analysis

Requirement analysis involves identifying, analyzing, and documenting the requirements of a software system.

  • During requirement analysis, the software testing team works closely with the stakeholders to gather information about the system’s functionality, performance, and usability.
  • The requirements document serves as a blueprint for the software development team, guiding them in creating the software system.
  • It also serves as a reference point for the testing team, helping them design and execute effective test cases to ensure the software meets the requirements.

In summary, by conducting thorough requirement analysis, software testing teams can help ensure the software system’s success and user satisfaction.

2. Test planning

During the test planning phase, the team develops a complete plan outlining each testing process step, including identifying requirements, determining the target audience, selecting appropriate testing tools and methods, defining roles and responsibilities, and defining timelines. This phase aims to ensure that all necessary resources are in place and everyone on the team understands their roles and responsibilities. A well-designed test plan minimizes risks by ensuring that potential defects are identified early in the development cycle when they are easier to fix. Also, adhering to the plan throughout the testing process fosters thoroughness and consistency in testing efforts which can save time and cost down the line.

3. Test case development

During the test case development phase, the team thoroughly tests the software and considers all possible scenarios.

This phase involves multiple steps, including test design, test case creation, and test case review:

  • Test design involves identifying the test scenarios and defining the steps to be followed during testing.
  • Writing test cases for each identified scenario, including input data, expected output, and the steps to be followed, involves creating test cases.
  • Test case review involves reviewing the test cases to ensure they are complete and cover all possible scenarios.

Also, this is the phase when the involvement of test automation can be started. You can select the test cases for test automation here. And, if automation is already a part of the STLC, and the product is suitable for testing, then the test case automation can be started too.

4. Test environment setup

Test environment setup in software testing life refers to creating an environment that simulates the production system where the software application is deployed. A person can ensure efficient and effective testing activities by designing the test environment correctly.

The setup includes

  • hardware,
  • software,
  • networks, and
  • databases.

When setting up test environments, we consider network bandwidth, server capabilities, and storage capacity. A properly set-up test environment aims to replicate real-world scenarios to identify potential issues before deployment in production systems. Testers can perform functional, performance, or load testing during this phase. Automating your Test environment setup can make your work easier. You can set up automated tests to run on the configured setups here.

5. Test execution

Test execution refers to the software testing life cycle phase where created test cases are executed on the actual system being tested. At this stage, testers verify whether features, functions, and requirements prescribed in earlier phases perform as expected. The test execution also involves the execution of automated test cases.

6. Test closure

Test closure is integral to the STLC and includes completing all planned testing activities. It includes

  • reviewing and analyzing test results,
  • reporting defects,
  • identifying achieved or failed test objectives,
  • assessing test coverage, and
  • evaluating exit criteria.

For example, in agile methodology, test closure occurs at the end of each sprint as a formal review meeting with essential stakeholders. The team aims to validate that they have adequately tested all the functionality before release. They generate closure reports detailing the overall product quality and bug statistics, leading to the project’s successful conclusion.

Effective test closure signifies that the software product is ready for delivery and can move towards launch after addressing all identified defects and weaknesses, ensuring flawless functioning and a positive user experience.

When discussing test automation, the effective generation of test reports and integration with other tools in the test process also plays a big role.

Test Automation as part of Phases of Testing

Thus, to succeed through the 6 phases of STLC, test automation becomes a part too. Some tools are built keeping all of these in mind.

Here is a guide that talks in detail about automated testing

Learn More

Tools make the steps easier by

1. Making test creation easy

2. Enabling test environment setup

3. Quick test execution

4. Insightful test reporting.

For example, Testsigma:

1. It Makes test creation easy as it is a no-code test automation platform. Automating your tests is as easy as writing your sentences in simple English. Similarly, they are super easy to edit and maintain too.

2. Support for configuring the tests to run on the test environment of your choice.

3. Intuitive UI that enables you to create, configure and execute your tests in minutes.

4. Customizable test reporting; make it report according to your needs.

A visual representation of creating a Test Plan with Testsigma is depicted below:

Testsigma - Testplan

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Phases of Testing in Agile SDLC Models

Similarly, agile SDLC models also incorporate test phases to ensure the quality of the product being developed. The phases are based on the same principles, just are termed different: There are several key phases to consider when embarking on an agile testing life cycle.

  1. The first phase, Impact Assessment, involves gathering all necessary information from stakeholders to understand the project’s scope and requirements fully. From there, the Agile Testing Planning phase allows stakeholders to collaborate and schedule the testing process and deliverables.
  2. The developed feature is thoroughly tested in the Release Readiness phase to ensure it meets client expectations before going live.
  3. Daily Scrums are conducted to check testing progress and set goals for the next day.
  4. Finally, the Test Agility Review phase involves meeting stakeholders to review progress against milestones.

Agile testing can be conducted efficiently and effectively by following these key phases.

Read More on SDLC vs STLC – Key Differences


To identify defects and ensure they are fixed before the product is released, it is important to give equal importance to each phase of STLC. In this blog, we discussed the various phases of STLC and what they entail.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the four phases of testing?

The Four-Phase Test Pattern is a widely used testing methodology that helps ensure the quality and reliability of software systems.

  1. The first phase, Setup, involves establishing the necessary preconditions for the test.
  2. The second phase, Exercise, involves acting on the system under test.
  3. Verify is the third phase, where the testers check whether the expected outcome has been achieved.
  4. Finally, in the Cleanup phase, testers return the system under test to its initial state after completing all tests.
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