Defect Management Basics Explained

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10 Sep, 2020


In today’s competitive era, we come across many digital businesses dealing with website flaws that are tagged as defects or issues. We are aware that for any software written code, QA teams need to look for defects. Defect management plays a crucial role in the software testing process. Defects are a norm in a software development process and are expected to appear out of nowhere and at any stage. QA teams are equipped with bug management tools that allow them to identify, track, manage, report, and resolve bugs. It is essential to track bugs throughout the software development process so that a small issue does not give birth to a bigger one. Not only is it crucial for the development teams but for the overall business reputation. QA experts ensure that they detect bugs before the customers find faults in a product. 

The Defect Management Process 

When a developer has completed a code, a tester tests it and comes across variations in the expected result to the current result, which is known as a defect. A defect is also known as a bug, issue, or incident. Once defects are identified, managing them is one of the most important activities for any organization. It is not only imperative for the testing team but for all stakeholders involved in the software development process. The various processes and tools that are used for managing the defects are crucially important because they can identify the areas that need improvement for enhancing the development and testing processes. 

Stringent Time Frames

Defect management can be termed as a process that involves detecting bugs and resolving them. Without any doubt, bugs occur constantly in the software development process. Due to the rising demand for quality products in stringent time frames, it becomes challenging for teams to get a hold of bugs. Developers are required to write large pieces of code and don’t have time to think about how to avoid bugs. Thus, every QA team requires a defect management process to detect defects and fix them. 

Discover Defects by Testing 

The bug tracking or defect management process is typically conducted at the stage of testing software products. The software testing process can be performed in two ways, either the developers test their code themselves, or they can involve real users to test the product. However, this is not the best way to test because the end-users would hardly be able to find all the bugs in the app.  

Defect Workflow 

Most of the organizations that perform software testing use bug management tools to keep a track of the bugs throughout the defect lifecycle and manage them efficiently. Testers prepare a bug report after analyzing defects in software, and they are responsible for completing a task that would move the defect report to the next stage. However, in the latter stages of a defect lifecycle, da defect report may not have an owner under the following situations:

  • The defect has been fixed and tested – marked closed
  • The defect report is canceled as it is invalid
  • The defect report is not reproducible if the defect can no longer be observed 

Defect Reports

When a failure is observed during static testing, testers should include them in their defect report. It is important for the following reasons:

  • Managing reports through all stages of the defect lifecycle
  • Assessing project ability
  • Assessing project status with respect to testing progress and product quality 

All the information required for preparing a defect report depends on the defect lifecycle stage where the defect has been reported. As there is a progress in the lifecycle, testers need more information for defect report management. Additionally,  the data collected should be constant throughout the lifecycle stages so that process defect data comparisons can be performed to get meaningful insights. By gathering defect data, testers can monitor and control the test progress and also evaluate test exit conditions. For instance, with defect data, you can have insights into defect density, trends in defect detection, the average time required to fix an issue, etc. 

How to Manage Duplicate Defect/False Positives?

To err is human. Often testers may identify an irregularity due to a defect in the test environment, test data, or their own mistake. If they have reported it as a defect and later found it is unrelated, it is known as a false-positive result. The report is closed after marking it as an invalid defect.  

There are instances where one defect can lead to results which may look like multiple unrelated issues to testers. If more than one defect is reported, that have a common root cause. Then one defect report will remain open while the other defects will be closed by marking the duplicate. 

Although duplicate bugs and invalid reports indicate a team’s inefficiency, yet test managers need to recognize them as inevitable. If they try to eliminate such reports, the amount of false negatives increases because the testers do not want to file reports for all defects detected. 

The 5 Stages of Defect Management Process

  • The prevention of defects – It is not possible to avoid bugs 100% but by following guidelines while writing code, teams can prevent many bugs. 
  • Baseline delivery – Step-by-step testing and delivery can speed up the defect management process. 
  • Discover the defect – As soon as a tester detects a defect, it should be reported to the developer immediately. 
  • Resolve the defect – There are cases when testers find a valid defect in a product whereas developers deem it to be invalid. Test managers need to analyze whether the defect is valid or invalid. 
  • Improve the process – Automated tools should be used to improve the defect management process, making it more efficient. 

Take-Home 

By choosing the right tool will help teams in reducing the defects in any development process. When a defect is found, it should be immediately checked and fixed to make the process efficient. Identifying defects is a measure to improve processes and meet quality standards. 

About the author

Hiba Sulaiman has been working in the domains of technical and SEO-based content for more than a combined experienced four years. She generates content for digital marketing purposes including blogs & articles, newsletters, etc. Her educational background includes a degree in the Masters of Business Administration (HR). She has developed her writing skills over the passage of years by servicing in educational writing ever since she graduated from college. She enjoys developing creative content for different services.

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