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Entry & Exit Criteria in Software Testing


Entry and Exit Criteria in Software Testing

A software testing process if not bound by any stipulation or criteria, it may be initiated at any time and may be carried out for the infinite time or for a very short duration. This may produce negative consequences such as absence of goals and objectives, unable to meet the deadlines, over-budget, inefficient testing due to inadequate requirements and understanding of the product.

when to start and stop testing?

A QA team needs to know and understand that when it is suitable to carry out the testing process and at what point the process needs to be terminated. It should be known where to start and where to stop. In short, a testing process should be defined and planned along with its entry and exit criteria.

What are Entry Criteria in Software Testing?

Entry criteria are the condition or the set of conditions, which should exist or be met in order to start a process. To begin the activity of software testing, some conditions and factors are defined and specified during the planning phase, which needs to be met or executed so as to mark the beginning of the software testing activities.

Note: Both Entry and Exit criteria in software testing for each different level is decided and defined by the combined efforts of test team controller and business team .

Let's see some of the conditions or situations which may be seen as an entry criteria for the initiation of testing activities.

  • Availability of the test environment supporting necessary hardware, software, network configuration, settings and tools for the purpose of test execution.
  • Availability of proper and adequate test data.
  • Presence of proper testable data.
  • Testers are trained and necessary resources are available.
  • Requirements should be clearly defined and approved.
  • Test Design and documentation plan is ready.

Further, it is also relevant to mention that the concept of the entry criteria may be applied at all different levels of the testing such as for unit testing, integration testing, system testing etc. Let's see some entry criteria for each different levels of the test.

List of Entry Criteria in Software Testing:

Entry Criteria

Unit Testing

  • Business requirements are present.
  • Availability of functional requirements and specification.
  • High level design document is available.
  • Planning phase has been successfully completed.

Integration Testing

  • All modules are unit tested and available for the integration.
  • Code is completed.
  • All priority bugs are fixed and closed.
  • Availability integration test plans, scenarios and cases.

System Testing

  • Integration of the module has been done successfully and passed the exit criteria of Integration testing.
  • All the priority bugs have been fixed and closed.
  • System Testing environment has been set up.
  • Test cases/scripts are ready.

Acceptance Testing

  • Successfully passing the exit criteria of the system testing.
  • Business requirements had been met.
  • Test Environment has been set up.
  • Test cases/scripts are ready.
"Depending upon the business needs and project requirements along with the deadlines, the above stated general exit criteria list at each different level may be extended or reduced with the approval of Test Team Controller and Business Team."

What are Exit Criteria in Software Testing?

An exit criterion decides the completion or termination of the testing task. Exit Criteria is the condition of the set of conditions which imparts the completion of an activity or meeting of the targets and goals. Similar to entry criteria, exit criteria is also defined and outlined during the test planning phase. However, exit criteria are more difficult to define in comparison to the entry criteria.

Following are some of the possible exit criteria which may be used to mark the end of the testing activities.

  • All test cases have been executed.
  • Sufficient coverage of the requirements and functionalities has been achieved.
  • All high severity or top priority bug has been fixed.
  • High risk identified area has been taken up and tested.
  • Budget gets depleted.
  • Deadlines reached.

List of some Exit Criteria in Software Testing

Exit Criteria

Unit Testing

  • Successfully executed the unit tests.
  • Priority bugs are fixed and closed.

Integration Testing

  • No Outstanding critical defects
  • All priority bugs are fixed and closed.
  • Integration system has passed the all functional and performance requirements.
  • Installability has been verified.

System Testing

  • All system test cases have been successfully executed.
  • Priority bugs have been fixed and closed.
  • System is meeting all sorts of business and functional requirements.
  • System is supporting all its intended hardware and software.

Acceptance Testing

  • Completed and approved by the Test Management team.
  • Essential business process has been covered.
  • No critical defect is left out.
  • User acceptance testing close off meeting held.
"Similar to entry criteria, the above defined exit criteria list may be further increased or decreased to meet the business needs and requirements within the stipulated deadlines"

Conclusion:

Defining and understanding the entry and exit criteria ensures the efficient and effective execution of the testing activities to meet the desired targets and goals of the quality process without going beyond the specified deadlines.


You may also like to read two of the more and important criteria existing in the software testing process; suspension and resumption criteria