Entry and exit criteria are one of the key factors to consider during the STLC (the software testing life cycle), as they are used in every phase of it 🔁 This article will educate you about the entry and exit criteria and their importance. Let’s understand them both in a simple way through the below example:
To travel by flight, it is mandatory for an individual to have their flight ticket. So the pre-requisite here is that the flight ticket must be booked before boarding the flight. Hence, the entry criteria for boarding a flight is: A flight ticket must be booked.
Once the flight lands on the runway, only then the passengers can come out of the flight. Hence, the exit criteria here is: A flight must land on the runway for the passengers to exit from the plane.
What Is Entry Criteria In STLC?
It is defined as a set of pre-requisite conditions to start an STLC phase. It simply defines that all the prerequisite items should be completed before starting any of the STLC phases. Once all the required conditions are met, one is good to start that particular STLC phase.
What Is Exit Criteria In STLC?
Exit criteria is a set of expectations or requirements that should be met before concluding the STLC phase. It defines the set of items that must be completed before exiting the particular STLC phase. Once all the requirements are met, one is good to exit the particular STLC phase. Let’s have a look at the entry and exit criteria for each phase:
This is the first STLC phase. In this phase, the testing team gathers the requirements of the feature they are going to work on. The QA team also communicates with the stakeholders to better understand the requirements, and freeze the requirements in this phase. In addition, the testing scope of the requirements which includes what to test and how to test is defined ✅ The testing scope can be functional as well as non-functional.
Entry Criteria For the Requirements Analysis Phase
- The SRS (Software Requirement Specification) should be ready and available
- the acceptance criteria should be finalized
- The application architecture should be ready
Exit Criteria For Requirements Analysis Phase
- The RTM (Requirement Traceability Matrix) should be ready
The test strategy is defined in this phase 📜 Test strategy includes the testing tool that will be used, testing approach, resource planning, roles and responsibilities.
Entry Criteria For The Test Planning Phase
- The requirement traceability matrix should be available
- The automation feasibility report should be ready (if automation is in scope)
Exit Criteria For The Test Planning Phase
- The test plan should be prepared and approved
- The cost and effort estimation documents must be signed off
Test Case Development
This phase is used to prepare the test cases 💡 QA creates detailed level test cases based on the requirement traceability matrix. It covers test inputs, steps and expected results. Any necessary automation scripts should be created during this phase.
Entry Criteria For Test Case Development
- Requirement documents from previous phases
- Test plan and RTM from the previous phases
Exit Criteria For Test Case Development
- Test cases/ test scripts covering all the functionalities as per RTM should be created and must be reviewed
- Test data should be ready
Test Environment Setup
It is required to setup the test environment to test the particular feature. Test environment is set up and deployed in this phase of STLC. It may require some tools for the setup 🔧 Smoke tests are executed against the test environment to make sure that environment is working fine.
Entry Criteria For Test Environment Setup
- A list of smoke tests
- Test data to verify against the environment set up
Exit Criteria For Test Environment Setup
- Environment setup must work as per the plan and checklist
- The smoke tests should pass
In this phase features are tested against the created test cases under deployed test environment 🔎 A test execution report is created containing results of all the executed test cases.
Entry Criteria For Test Execution
- The test data and environment set up must be completed
- The test cases/automation script must be completed
Exit Criteria For Test Execution
- All the test cases should be successfully executed
- All the defects should be tracked
- A test execution report should be prepared
Test Cycle Closure
This is the last phase of the STLC 🏁 The final reports (which include the summary of the whole testing process, test case execution report, test case coverage etc.) and test completion matrix are collected in this phase.
Entry Criteria For Test Cycle Closure
- Testing of the whole feature should be completed with all the test cases executed
- Defects report should be available
- Final test results should be available
Exit Criteria For Test Cycle Closure:
- Feature should be delivered to the client
- The test closure report should be signed off
Defining entry and exit criteria for each STLC phase is essential to ensure the quality of the product/feature under test. Provision of entry and exit criteria in each phase would make sure that the particular STLC phase has been completed properly, which would finally lead to the good quality of the product/feature 💪