Although variations exist between organizations, there is a typical cycle for testing. The sample below is common among organizations employing the Waterfall development model.
- Requirements analysis: Testing should begin in the requirements phase of the software development life cycle. During the design phase, testers work with developers in determining what aspects of a design are testable and with what parameters those tests work.
- Test planning: Test strategy, test plan, testbed creation. Since many activities will be carried out during testing, a plan is needed.
- Test development: Test procedures, test scenarios, test cases, test datasets, test scripts to use in testing software.
- Test execution: Testers execute the software based on the plans and test documents then report any errors found to the development team.
- Test reporting: Once testing is completed, testers generate metrics and make final reports on their test effort and whether or not the software tested is ready for release.
- Test result analysis: Or Defect Analysis, is done by the development team usually along with the client, in order to decide what defects should be treated, fixed, rejected (i.e. found software working properly) or deferred to be dealt with later.
- Defect Retesting: Once a defect has been dealt with by the development team, it is retested by the testing team. AKA Resolution testing.
- Regression testing: It is common to have a small test program built of a subset of tests, for each integration of new, modified, or fixed software, in order to ensure that the latest delivery has not ruined anything, and that the software product as a whole is still working correctly.
- Test Closure: Once the test meets the exit criteria, the activities such as capturing the key outputs, lessons learned, results, logs, documents related to the project are archived and used as a reference for future projects.