Preparation turns big problems into little ones, and it turns bug problems into little sprints.
When viewed from afar—as a single, monolithic step in your overall software development process—testing an entire application can seem overwhelming. How do you properly account for every potential execution, for every combination of platform, purpose and user? Or for every practical real-world contingency?
And how do you cover all that without exceeding your resources or breeching your deadline?
The answer is to break down the process into deliberate, incremental steps within a defined software testing life cycle. By understanding the whole as a series of connecting steps, you can accurately allocate resources, clearly target core functionality and streamline the test phase to produce better products, faster.
The software testing life cycle takes a complex process and breaks it down into logical, easy-to-achieve goals that lead you, piece by piece, toward the best version of your application. It replaces big problems with small solutions.
Strategize Around Your Software Testing Life Cycle
The software testing life cycle is a product development recipe. Just as you would not place raw flour in the oven before adding the eggs and milk that round out the cake—you do not want to leave out any steps of the STLC and risk its potential value.
Each step builds on the previous as you narrow your focus from broad scoping down to individual test case execution and reporting. Planning and resource allocation come first in your test strategy, and the decisions you make early define the effectiveness of the actual test cases you execute later.
The process flows like this:
Define your business goals and the framework needed to ensure the product meets these goals; essentially, we are deciding what needs to be tested and how.
Assemble a comprehensive test strategy of the different types of testing required and how and when they will be executed. Here, we make decisions between manual and automated testing, the allocation of outsourced and development resources, tool selection and workflow and communication standards.
Test Case Development
Test data is prepared, and test cases that prioritize the end user experience and the product goals as defined earlier are written. We aim to create simple, transparent test cases that produce the same results every time with smooth monitoring.
This is the practical design and configuration of the tools and hardware that will be used to execute the test cases. We want to ensure that tests can be executed in parallel, that data flow is optimized and secure and that reports are actionable by a wide range of stakeholders.
Test execution is where the development rubber meets the testing road, and our code is measured against expected results. We want to ensure comprehensive testing, using the most appropriate and resource-efficient means possible. Hence, the exhaustive planning effort applied in advance.
Evaluation and Reporting
This covers your test results and the reality of how your product delivers against its purpose. We need a comprehensive and actionable understanding of how the product will perform for the user so we can deliver the best possible experience.
Test Cycle Closure
This last step is a doozy and provides a valuation of the test process in terms of delivered quality, resource efficiency, test coverage and goal realization. We want an unbiased assessment of the value we derived from the test configuration to inform future test executions.
By following these steps in sequence, we reduce the huge challenge of preparing a product for market down to an easily realized process of planning, execution and evaluation.
With repetition and experience of the process, you gain an insight into the software testing life cycle that helps you get things right every time.
Get Your STLC Right the First Time
There is no skill more valuable than experience and none harder to acquire. Through the execution of more than a million test cases and billions of dollars worth successful customer exits, our engineers learned how to optimize the software testing life cycle to deliver comprehensive testing at maximum efficiency.
Engaging an outsourced QA expert gives you someone to help plan your test phase and to turn to when things go wrong. Among a range of advantages, an expert partner can:
- Use their domain expertise to create a software testing life cycle that delivers against industry and user standards
- Select the optimal framework and tools for your unique product
- Quickly scale production only when needed within your release cycle
- Incorporate testing within an Agile environment that integrates development and QA into a series of short sprints and evolving product iterations
- Reduce your QA spend by efficiently employing offshore and nearshore solutions
Carefully following the software testing life cycle steps outlined above will help you break down product testing into manageable pieces. Engaging an expert QA partner to guide you through the working process will ensure that you realize every potential value gain along the way. Adding outsourced QA to your project is like instantly investing your team with decades of experience.
QASource engineers have a proven track record of guiding some of the world’s leading companies through the crucial test phase of major product developments. With a QA expert on board, your team gains both mentors to help plan your test suite and engineers to execute it. Contact us today for a free quote, or call +1.925.271.5555 to get started.