Effective techniques for Bug Reporting and Bug Tracking

21 / Jan / 2016 by Mohit Tyagi 5 comments

Bug Reporting

Bug Reporting is the activity of posting a bug to the development team to fix it. Bug reporting in independent software testing can be done using a simple spread sheet or using a bug tracking tool. While reporting a bug don’t forget to fill up following fields –

    • Bug ID (Auto generated in case of tool)
    • Project Name
    • Bug Summary
    • Description

– Reproducible steps
– Actual Result
– Expected Result

  • Bug Priority
  • Bug Severity
  • Assigned To
  • Status
  • Reporter
  • Affects Version
  • Environment
  • Component/Module
  • Attachments
  • Test Case link
  • User Story link


Severity Vs Priority

In the Bug reporting, the terms “Priority” and “Severity” are used to share the importance of a bug among the team and to fix it accordingly.

    • Priority:

– Priority means how fast a bug has to be fixed.
– The priority status is set based on the customer requirements.
– Values can be (Blocker, Critical, Major, Minor, Trivial)

    • Severity:

– Severity of a software bug is based on the degree of the bug impact on the operation of the system.
– Values can be (Blocker, Critical, Major, Minor, Trivial)

Why Need a Good Bug Report?

If your bug report is effectively documented, chances are very high that it will get fixed. So fixing a bug depends on how effectively you have reported it.

Qualities of a Good Bug Report

  • Reproducible – Incorporate reproducible steps.
  • Be Specific – there should not be any ambiguity in bug summary and description.
  • Add required screenshots and error logs wherever required.

Tips to write a Good Bug Report

  • Report the problem immediately if using a bug reporting tool.
  • Reproduce the bug twice before writing bug report.
  • Test the same bug occurrence on other similar module as well.
  • Write a good bug summary that gives a brief about the bug.
  • Read bug report before clicking on Submit/Save button.
  • Do not use Abusive language at all.

Bug Tracking

Bug tracking means tracking the status of any bug until it get closed. At any point of time a bug must be in any of the states given below in the diagram-
Bug Tracking
There are several stages in a bug life cycle

  • Open – bug that is raised and yet to be validated.
  • In Progress – bug is validated and under fixing.
  • Not a Bug – Sometimes developer or team lead can mark the bug as “Not a Bug” if the system is working according to specifications and bug is just due to some misinterpretation.
  • Deferred – When a bug cannot be addressed in that particular cycle it is deferred to future release.
  • Duplicate – Same bug is already logged by QA team.
  • Fixed – Bug has been fixed by developer and QA has to verify it in next build.
  • Reopened – When the bug is NOT fixed, QA reopens/reactivates the bug.
  • Closed – If bug is verified by the QA team and it is fixed then QA can mark bug as ‘Closed’ or a bug can be closed if the defect is duplicate or considered as NOT as bug.

Need of Bug Tracker

The risks of not using a bug tracker in any project might result to the following –

  • Important issues getting lost.
  • Project teams waste too much time figuring out the stability of the project.
  • Customers do not have the idea about the progress of bug fixing activity.
  • Developer don’t realize that they’ve been assigned an issue.
  • Getting bug status reports takes too long.

comments (5)

  1. Renee

    I find your article is insightful. Thank you for sharing.

    I think choosing the right management tool is also important. The second most important thing is to implement it without giving up. For example, some of the team members were not used to the Scrum tool, ZenTao project management software. It is open source and covers the whole lifecycle of software projects. They tried it and gave up pretty soon. The project management was a mess at that time, so they had to implement the tool again. Then the messy situation was ameliorated.

  2. tushar

    Hi, thank you for this post I agree with you that In the Bug reporting, the terms “Priority” and “Severity” are used to share the importance of a bug among the team and to fix it accordingly. very useful information


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