Test Execution

A software product is termed ready for its ‘Go Live’ only after going through various tests, such as performance, functionality, load, spike, smoke test, etc. During each test execution, the software is placed in different scenarios, which help the team to verify and validate its various aspects. During these testing processes, test execution plays an important role that helps them to create a software that offers expected results. Therefore, to elaborate on the importance of test execution, here is a discussion of the same.

What is Test Execution?

Test execution refers to execution of test cases or test plan on a software product, to ensure the fulfilment of the pre-defined requirements and specifications of the developed software product. It is an important part of Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC), along with Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC).

The test execution phase begins after the completion the test planning stage and is carried out with the assistance of test cases, which are prepared during the test planning phase, based on the pre-decided business requirements.

Other important requirements of this phase of software testing, apart from test cases are the software build and testing environment.

Importance of Test Execution

An integral part of both software development and software testing life cycle, test execution, involves execution of the code and comparison of expected and actual results. Moreover, it is responsible for the deciding the readiness of the software product, for its entry into the market.

If the results of this execution are similar to the expected or desired results, the software product is considered ready for the release in the market. Otherwise, it may have to go through SDLC and STLC, again.

The phase of test execution evaluates and validates the efforts of all members and teams, associated with the development of the software. Moreover, it provides answers to multiple queries, such as:

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  • If the requirements are correctly gathered and interpreted?
  • Are these requirements, correctly implemented in designs and architecture?
  • Whether the development team has built software product, in accordance with these requirements?

test execution Infographics

Features of Test Execution:

Once the entry criteria of a software has been satisfied and the test objective has been delivered, the team moves on to conducting testing execution, which, as stated above, carries significant importance in both Software Development Life Cycle and Software Testing Life Cycle. To help you gather a better understanding of this process, mentioned below are some of the notable points of test execution.

Below mentioned are some of the notable points in respect of test execution

  • It simply means execution of test cases to compare actual results with expected results, so as to verify and validate the pre-decided requirements.
  • It is basically, a three step process:
    • Preparation of test strategy and cases,
    • Execution of the test cases,
    • Verification and validation of results, along with reporting.
  • Based on the potential defects and business requirements, test suites needs to be selected.
  • These test suites are shared with development and business team for their reviews and suggestions.
  • Usually, it is implemented and carried out by a skilled group of testers.
  • It takes place in the QA specific testing environment.
  • Executing test cases, reporting defects and maintaining status, continuously, is a regular feature.
  • It generally takes two rounds to finish its process. At first round, complete test suite (all the test cases) is executed, to locate critical and major defects. In the second round, again whole test cases are executed, to trace any medium or minor defects, left unseen.
  • Output of this phase is primarily status and report of the execution process, where report implies defect or bug report.
  • Along with task of execution of test cases, it involves maintenance of these test cases/scripts, bug logging and reporting.
  • Test execution can be done either manually or with the assistance of automated tools.

Follow the link to know more about test execution tools.

Prerequisites of Test Execution:

Before the execution of the testing process, the team of testers should consider all the factors that can impact the result of testing and lead to its deviation from the expected one. Therefore, listed below are the prerequisites of test execution:

  • The process of designing and defining the tests should be completed.
  • Team members should have a thorough understanding of the test data that needs to be tracked or monitored.
  • The criteria for logging tests and reporting defects should be published and made available to all the team members.
  • The tools used for test execution must be ready before the test execution, especially the test management tools.
  • Process for tracking the test results, including the metrics should be working accurately.

Process of Test Execution:

The process of test execution, which is preceded by test preparation and planning and followed by reporting, involves three steps, which are defined in detail below:

  • Preparation: During the first stage of the process the team prepares a test strategy and test cases, which are then used by them to test run the software product.
  • Execution: After creating test cases and strategy, the team finally executes them, while monitoring the results and comparing them with the expected results.
  • Verification and Validation: During this stage of the process, the test results are verified & validated as well as recorded and reported by the team in the form of test summary/test execution report.

Things to Consider for the Process of Test Execution:

During the process of test execution, there are various aspects that require consideration of the team. From monitoring the process to taking necessary actions to get expected results, every factor has great significance and needs to be performed accurately. Therefore, the factors that are considered during test execution are:

  • A subset of the test suite is selected, based on the risks, to be executed for the test execution cycle.
  • Test cases in each test suite are assigned to the testers for execution.
  • Once the tests are executed, the bugs are reported and test status is captured continuously.
  • The issues are resolved immediately after they arise.
  • The test manager should monitor the process as per the test plan and if required, s/he should take necessary control actions in terms of objective and strategy.
  • Finally, the test status, finding and results are reported and reconsidered.

Test Execution Cycle:

Considered to be the most important part of the software testing life cycle (STLC), test execution is an extension of the former, wherein test cycles are executed based on the test plans created by the team before the commencement of the project. Test execution cycle consists of six stages, which are:

  1. Requirements Analysis: The first stage of the cycle, here the QA team studies the requirements from the point of view of testing, which helps them to identify testable requirements.
  2. Test Planning: In this stage, the test strategy is defined by the test manager. Moreover, s/he is responsible for determining the testing efforts and cost estimates.
  3. Test Case Development: Once the requirements are defined and test strategy is prepared, the team creates test cases and test scripts.
  4. Test Environment Setup: Before executing the developed test cases, the team prepares the test environment. This is done simultaneously with test case development.
  5. Test Execution: It is in this stage that the test cases are executed by the team, based on the specified requirements and all the detected bugs and defects are recorded and reported for rectification.
  6. Test Cycle Closure: During this last stage of the process, the team evaluates the cycle completion criteria on the basis of test coverage, quality, cost, etc. The main objective of the team during this stage is to remove process bottlenecks for future test cycle and share best practices.

Test Execution/Summary Report:

One of the deliverables offered to the client after the completion of the software testing as well as development process, test execution or summary report provides a comprehensive summary of the entire testing process, with accurate details and information. Written in brief and concise manner, this report It usually follows a set of template:

  • Test Summary Report Identifier
  • Summary.
  • Variances.
  • Comprehensive Assessment.
  • Summary of Results.
  • Evaluation.
  • Summary of Activities.
  • Approval.

Read more about this report in our next article test summary report and boost your knowledge.


From being a part of all testing activities to identifying various defect, bugs and issues in the system, test execution plays an extremely critical role in software development life cycle. It is with the assistance of this process that the team of testers are able to create a product that is meets the requirements of the client and offers specified services.

You may also like our next article on test execution tools

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