Many companies across the board have implemented meticulous QA testing, but still haven’t managed to mitigate the defects from the system altogether. The success of enterprises operating in an agile environment is dependent on their ability to expedite continuous improvement for testing efforts and processes. In order to reduce development costs, time to market, and efforts while keeping the ever-increasing complexities and the size of the software systems in check, adequate defect management mechanisms are required. In agile software development cycles, companies work towards minimizing the risk of delivering defect prone and low-quality end products to the consumers by shifting from rigid frameworks to flexible defect management models.
More often than not, software development can prove to be a challenging and complex task that requires meticulous monitoring and quality assurance. With a proficient defect tracking software which not only measures software quality by detecting bugs early in the development cycle but also tracks their progress through all stages, the QA and development teams are effectively managed and organize the defects.
How Defect Tracking Works?
Anytime the performance of the software application deviates from the requirements or from the expected behavior, it is categorized as a defect or a bug in the system. As opposed to the ubiquitous view that most of the bugs that are found are coding errors, deviations in the requirements, system design, or even the development phases are the most common types of defects. In order to reduce the testing efforts and the defect escape rate, the quality assurance team embeds the defect tracking software in the lifecycle from the initial phases. The fundamental aim of the defect tracking is to monitor the defects, report them to the team, allocate to the relevant team members, and keep a check on their progress through all stages of the development. One of the major components of the defect tracking system is the central repository which records history, comments, and facts associated with the defects. The database is accessed by everyone in the team and includes factual information like the severity of the defect, the team member who reported, the development phase during which it was detected, the erroneous behavior of the application, and lastly, comprehensive details about the reproduction of the defect.
During the defect tracking life cycle, a bug has to go through various stages before it is considered to be resolved;
Open: This denotes that the defect is active in the system and is being investigated by the quality assurance team.
Test: After the bug is reported back to the development team, they resolve the issue, and pass it over to the QA team for testing.
Verified: The reported bug is re-tested by the QA team and verified.
Resolved: If the defect does not pose a problem after it is verified by the QA team then it is considered to be closed.
Re-opened: If the reported issues in the system still persist after it has been re-tested and verified then it is re-opened and goes through the same cycle again.
The management and allocation of defects are entirely contingent on the severity of its impact and how the team prioritizes them. The relative impact of the persisting problem on the timely delivery and release of the software application allows them to classify the defects into main categories.
Catastrophic – In this case, the reported error cause total failure of the application or even irrecoverable data loss. There is no possible workaround for this error which impedes the release of the product.
Impaired Functionality – Even though a workaround exists for this type of defect, the solution is still not satisfactory which has a detrimental effect on the release of the software application.
Failure of non-critical systems – if this bug is detected in the early phases of the development lifecycle and documented properly, then the damage can be curtailed. A satisfactory solution is available and the application may still be released.
Very minor – This is an issue that is so minor that it cannot be ignored and an acceptable workaround is also available. It does not impact the product release or quality in a major way.
How Defect Tracking Improves the Quality Assurance Process?
Majority of the times, defects are not a problem for the firm because there is not an appropriate workaround and it cannot be resolved, it becomes unfathomable when it is not reported, documented, or managed properly. Bugs and defects become unmanageable and out of control when they are not detected in the earlier stages of the development lifecycle. The later the bug is caught in the application system, the higher the cost and efforts are going to be. However, all these challenges and problems are addressed with the right defect tracking tools.
This system has helped to revolutionize the software industry as it offers a faster and a more efficient way of improving the overall quality. From the previous monitoring of defects, defect patterns and trends are derived and analyzed. Through this, correct measures are adopted and further defects are prevented from occurring again. The defect tracking record is kept up to date with all reported defects and their information so that none of the errors can slip through the cracks. Given that the progress and status of the bugs are continuously monitored which not only saves the time of the developers but also makes sure that the repetitive issues are discarded and the ones with high priority are being worked on. With this system at their disposal, the development and quality assurance teams can follow through on the defects even after they have been resolved and generate valuable metrics for future use. For the traceability and defect trend analysis, the reported bugs can be tied back to the tests, specific, or even codes. This means that if one aspect or component of the system has a lot of reported errors and bugs, the team will know to rewrite that module all over again.
The utilization of defect tracking software along with the quality assurance processes ascertains that there is an extra layer of protection. It ensures that the defects are caught in the early development phases and managed adequately to minimize their impact and severity. Owing to this, the quality assurance processes are generally improved while the time between release cycles and sprints is reduced.