The detection of bugs is one of the most crucial stages in the development lifecycle of a software application. Tracking and monitoring the progress of any defects and bugs in the system ascertains the efficiency in the quality assurance process and mitigates the risk of post-release performance or usability issues. More often than not, the issues and defects in the application system are so inconsequential or hidden that even the most experienced testers fail to detect them. In other cases, owing to a lack of an organized system, the backlog for the prevailing bugs in the application is so clogged that project managers and the testing teams are unable to manage them effectively and thence, resolve them on time.
This denotes that the role of the quality assurance team is not limited to the identification of the defect in the application system and reporting it back to the development team. In fact, it is of utmost importance for the testers and the project managers to work together and track the progress of the issues. This allows them more visibility over the activity of the bugs so that they can check if all reported issues are assigned to the right team members if they are resolved on time, whether they require further work, if a bug is duplicated in the system or not, how many issues which are on priority have not been resolved etc. Therefore, in order to streamline all the testing processes, reduce the overall testing efforts and the use of resources, and most importantly, to deliver the project on time, many teams have resorted to robust and proficient issue tracking tools.
The Need of Issue Tracking Tools for Test Managers
No software application is perfect. Irrespective of how much effort and resources the development and testing team pour into the development of the application system, some bugs and defects are bound to pop up on the launch day. Even though defects in the system are part of the territory for the testing teams, it is still imperative for the test managers to take extra measures to reduce the risk and the impact of bugs on the end product. Given that the competition in the software industry is heating up and companies are churning out high-quality applications, the bar for quality has been raised. Thus, the issues prevalent in the system cannot be left unchecked. Bugs and defects that are mishandled or not monitored properly can wreak havoc on the reputation of the company, the sustainability of the application, and worst of all, it is likely to take up hours of the development team to resolve the issue which could have been put to better use. The agile driven teams who aim to stay ahead of the game are disciplined and diligent with the tracking and monitoring process for the bugs, and a large part of their strategy for successful bug management is the incorporation of issue tracking tools in the system.
How Issue Tracking System Helps Test Managers to Save Time and Effort
In the most basic form, issue tracking and management process are the identification, reporting, prioritizing, and handling the bugs. Embedding the issue tracking solutions in the development cycle not only enhances the communication network within the organization, but it also allows the test managers to improve the quality assurance process with the help of automated, comprehensive reports. The real-time reports generated by the issue tracking system provide more visibility for the managers and equips them with greater traceability so that they are able to link the issue with their original source. Considering that the real-time reports are centralized and can be accessed by the team members at any time and without any geographical limitations, this means that all possible bottlenecks are removed from the reporting process. Additionally, with the help of reports produced by the issue tracking system, defects are communicated directly to the developers and other stakeholders, which in turn ensures that everyone has the same understanding of the issues and they are all on the same page. Issue tracking reports not only store pertinent information about all the reported defects and tracks their progress over the software development lifecycle, but it also provides meaningful insights into how the developers can collaborate to resolve the issues faster and satisfy the end-users.
Research shows that defects can be resolved more quickly and much more effectively if the reports generated by the tracking tools are useful to the developers and testers. Issue tracking tools empower the test managers to log in all reported issues into one centralized and accessible database and triage the issues so that resources can be assigned properly. Once the ball gets rolling and the fixing process is completed, the issue tracking software generates reports which include important information regarding the bugs, the testing strategy and process, and how the outcome measures up against the expectations. Test managers can also work to derive defect patterns and trends from these reports for further use. These reports can be used to evaluate the recurring patterns and determine the most defect prone components and aspects of the system. With this information at their disposal, test managers would be able to target their testing efforts, assets, and resources at those specific areas. This, in turn, saves a lot of time for both the testing and the development team, which can be put to better use.
The days of tracking and managing bugs through simple excel sheets are gone, as the project size is increasing and the scope is getting more complex, managers require more reliable, and robust tools that are able to handle varying complexity levels in the system. An adept issue tracking system is more than just a database for tracking and monitoring defects. It is a powerful solution that arms the test managers with more visibility so that they can get their priorities straight and are able to work on the right issues at the right time.