Software testing, an essential part of software development life cycle, is quite a vast and complex process that requires ample time and efforts of testers to validate software product’s quality and effectiveness. This process, though extensively helpful, often becomes tedious as it has to be executed a plethora of times across different platforms. Moreover, there are multifarious requirements that need to be considered and tested, which sometimes become a source of uncertainty for testers, mostly regarding where to commence & terminate testing. To avoid this confusion, specific conditions and requirements are established by the QA team, before the inception of testing that helps testers throughout the testing life cycle. These conditions are termed as entry and exit criteria, which play a crucial role in software testing life cycle.
As the name specifies, entry criteria is a set of conditions or requirements, which are required to be fulfilled or achieved to create a suitable & favorable condition for testing. Finalized & decided upon after a thorough analysis of software & business requirements, entry criteria ensures the accuracy of the testing process and neglecting it can impact its quality.
Exit criteria is an important document prepared by the QA team to adhere to the imposed deadlines and allocated budget. This document specifies the conditions and requirements that are required to be achieved or fulfilled before the end of software testing process. With the assistance of exit criteria, the teams of testers are able to conclude the testing without compromising the quality and effectiveness of the software.
Exit criteria highly depends on the by-product of the software testing phase i.e. test plan, test strategy, test cases, test logs, etc. and can be defined for each test level, right from test planning, specification, and till execution.
The commonly considered exit criteria for terminating or concluding the process of testing are: