Test Entry and Exit Criteria

test entry and exit criteria

Software Test Entry and Exit Criteria are key tools in the arsenal of a Test Manager and should be used each software testing level. These are software testing basics that help set the rules of the game and properly delimit the test levels while also helping achieve Test Closure.

Software Testing Entry Criteria

Test Entry Criteria is a set of generic and specific conditions for permitting a process to go forward with a defined task. The purpose is to prevent a task from starting which would entail more effort compared to the effort needed to remove the failed entry criteria.

Software Testing Exit Criteria

Test Exit Criteria is a set of generic and specific conditions, agreed with stakeholders for permitting a process to complete. These prevent a task from being considered completed when there are still outstanding tasks not finished. The Exit Criteria is also used to report progress against a plan and to know when to stop testing.

Testing Entry and Exit Criteria Reporting

A Test Managers role is to:

  • ensure that effective processes are in place to provide necessary information for evaluating entry & exit criteria
  • make sure that the definition of the information requirements and methods for collection are part of test planning
  • ensure that members of the test team are responsible for providing the information required in an accurate and timely manner

The evaluation of exit criteria and reporting of results is a test management activity. There are also other software test metrics that support software testing reporting.

Test Entry and Exit Criteria and Test Closure (2)

Software Test Closure

Test Closure consists of finalizing and archiving the test ware and evaluating the test process, including preparation of a test evaluation report.

Once test execution is deemed to be complete, the key outputs should be captured as these tasks are important (often missed) and should be explicitly included as part of the test plan.

  • Test completion check – ensuring that all test work is indeed concluded
  • Test artifacts handover – delivering valuable work products to those who need them
  • Lessons learned – performing or participating in retrospective meetings where important lessons
  • Archiving results, logs, reports, and other documents

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For a broader article on this topic, you can check our Test Manager School or further browse our software testing blog.

This article is based on the ISTQB Advanced Syllabus version 2012 and it also references the ISTQB Foundation Syllabus version 2018. It uses terminology definitions from the ISTQB Glossary version 3.2.

In late 2019 we have launched A Test Manager’s Guide eBook that stands as the base for this article. You can check out more useful test management lessons by enrolling for free to view Chapter 1 – Back to the basics.