The typical testing lifecyle follows a set of phases that may not be exactly sequential.

For sure, you will start by specifying the requirements for your project. Normally, these requirements will need to be reviewed by stakeholders. Once approved, you are able to start planning, writing and organizing your tests.


Xray allows you to follow this model very closely, but how you implement it will be up to you.

You may adopt a very simple, straightforward test or a full-blown, comprehensive process that includes all phases of the testing lifecycle. 

Test Processes


Xray allows you to plan, design and execute tests, as well as generate test reporting.  It uses specific Jira issues for most of them.

For each testing phase, you would use the following issues:

  • Plan phase: Test Plan issues
  • Design phase: The specification can be done with Pre-Condition and Test issue types. The organization of the tests can be done using Test Sets.
  • Execute phase: Test Execution issues
  • Report phase: Test Execution issues, along with the built-in requirement coverage reports and some custom ones using Jira tools

Complete (legacy)

Before Xray v2, there was no specific Test Plan issue, though you could implement your "test plan" in one of two ways:

  • by creating Test Executions and considering them as your "test plan" for a given version (the limitation was that you end up with multiple Test Executions, mostly with the same tests, and missing a consolidated view of your "test plan")
  • by creating Test Sets; you define one or more Test Sets for a given version using the fixVersion attribute

Complete (with workflows)

This is similar to the previous approaches, but allows the complete control of the test management workflow.

Maybe you want to validate and approve Test-related issues before using them. Whatever workflow fits your organization/scenario the best, you are able to fully manage your testing lifecycle using Jira's workflow facilities for Xray's issue types.

Below is an example of  a possible workflow for Test, Pre-Condition or Test Set issues.


Note that Xray does not not install any workflow, but it is workflow-aware, providing some configurations specifically for that purpose (see Global Preferences page).    .

Learn more

Go to Using Jira workflows for testing purposes for a more in-depth explanation of the advantages of using JIRA workflows for Xray issue types, along with some usage examples.


So you have a small project and just want to add tests to it? You may just use Test issues to create tests for your requirements and execute ad hoc, unplanned Test Executions.

This is not the best option, but it may be enough for your needs.  

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