Entry And Exit Criteria In Software Testing

18 Mar. 2019 Software Testing & QA

Software testing plays a crucial role while building software products. It helps meet the business and technical requirements to achieve the anticipated outcomes. Identified by Quality Assurance (QA) teams, the entry and exit criteria in software testing is a summation of usability policies.

Read on as the article lists down the entry and exit criteria for software testing. Our objective is to help companies avoid confusion with significant considerations.

Entry and Exit Criteria in Testing

Business Associates define the objectives at the project level. Based on the project acceptance parameters, the project is implemented across individual processes/stage. It is where tracking of goals or outcome are mapped before moving to the next phase. It is applicable during both the initiation and completion of the process. Basis this, QA defines the set of conditions that must exist before a unit of project work can commence. Also, used as a process control mechanism it helps determine the cost-effectiveness for the project. It helps streamline the entire software development life cycle while improving the quality of the software product.

The entry and exit criteria in software testing are determined based on the test strategy. It defines the project’s approach to testing. Below are some of the considerations of the test strategy;

  • Characteristics of the developing system,
  • Project timelines and budget,
  • Planning of testing effort across the length and breadth of the project

Broadly, the Testing Strategy impacts the tasks related to test planning, test types, test script development, and test execution.

Generally, the entry and exit criteria are determined for the four test levels of Software Testing:

  • Unit Testing,
  • Integration Testing,
  • System Testing,
  • Acceptance Testing

Each test type requires distinct entry and exit criteria for testing phases. It ensures that the objectives of the test strategy and product requirements are met. Additionally, the QA professionals can utilize the outlined entry-exit criteria of the test strategy to map and analyze before sign off the outcomes.

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What Is An Entry Criteria In Software Testing?

Entry criteria for testing can be defined as “Specific conditions or on-going activities that must be present before a process can begin.” The Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC) specifies the entry criteria required during each testing phase. It also defines the time interval or the expected amount of lead-time to make the entry criteria item available to the process. The inputs can be divided into two categories – 1) received from development, and 2) produced from the test phases at the end of STLC.

The inputs from the testing phase include:

  • Defined and Approved Requirements
  • Test Plan
  • Test Cases and Test Data
  • Test Tools
  • Testable Code with Appropriate Test Environment
  • Executing the primary functional/business flows successfully by leveraging various test inputs and ensuring that they are working fine

Across organizations, some of the entry criteria generally used to mark the beginning of the testing cycle include;

  • Availability of complete or partially testable code
  • Appropriately defined and approved requirements
  • Access to sufficient and desired test data
  • The readiness of test cases
  • Setting up of test environment with all the necessary resources like tools and devices
  • Spot checks to ensure all the preconditions are met, and eradicate any defects or tasks that are delaying the process timelines

So, if you are an organization who is facing challenges to meet the above criteria, connect with us to learn more how to get going with it.

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What Is An Exit Criteria In Software Testing?

Exit criteria in testing are often viewed as a single document commemorating the end of a life cycle phase. It can be defined as “The specific conditions or on-going activities that should be fulfilled before completing the software testing life cycle. STLC specifies which exit criteria is required at each testing phase”. The exit criteria can identify the intermediate deliverables and enable you to track them as independent events.

The following exit criteria should be considered for completion of a testing phase:

  • Ensuring all critical Test Cases are passed
  • Achieving complete Functional Coverage
  • Identifying and fixing all the high-priority defects
  • Fixing all the ‘Show Stopper defects’ or ‘Blockers’ and ensuring that none of the identified Critical/Severity 1 defects are in Open Status
  • Re-testing and closing all the high-priority defects to execute corresponding Regression scenarios successfully

The following output is achieved through the exit criteria:

  • Test Logs
  • Test Incident Report Log
  • Test Summary Report/Findings Report

Listed below are some of the commonly considered exit criteria for terminating or concluding the testing process;

  • Budgeting challenges
  • Deadlines not meet
  • Complete execution of all the test cases
  • Meets the desired and sufficient coverage requirements and functionalities
  • Closure of all the identified defects
  • No critical bug has been left out during the testing process

Alternatively, are you an organization who is struggling to close the gap with the above-listed exit criteria?

Leverage Our Testing Expertise Our testing team can help you fix the gaps and provide recommendations to meet your testing requirements

Here are some of the industry-leading best practices for Entry and Exit Criteria Considerations:

  1. Before commencing any process, it is pertinent to define the entry and exit criteria for each test type explicitly
  2. Quantitative over qualitative representation of measures or preconditions
  3. Assigned corrective action or restart of the whole process with necessary changes must be allocated for the failure in meeting entry or exit criteria
  4. Continuous vigilance with follow-up from the moderator during the process creation and review is much required.

To sum up, defining the entry and exit criteria for a software testing process is essential. The requirements discussed above will help the testing teams to plan and drive testing tasks within stipulated deadlines. It is without compromising the quality, functionality, effectiveness, and efficiency of the developed software. Rishabh Software provides end-to-end software testing services to ensure a bug-free, robust software solution for your business. Check out our Testing capabilities to leverage our matured and proven test approach.

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