Software development and testing teams have a wide choice of tools for defect management which help support different software defect efforts. However, selecting and utilizing the right is only part of the whole defect management system.
Basically, defect management systems consist of the combination of different defect management tools and defect management process. The two major components work together supporting each other. If you ignore either one, you risk receiving sub-optimal results.
Therefore, below we present an overview of the average defect management process. A regular defect management process involves the following common process steps.
This stage suggests the discovery of the defect. Hopefully, someone of the QA team should discover it. However, in reality it can be anybody including other individuals of the project team and even end customers on rare occasions.
Once the defect is reported, it is usually assigned to the designated team member in order to confirm it is really a defect rather than an enhancement or any other appropriate category defined by the company.
This is usually based on the combination of the level of impact on users, relative fixing effort as well as comparison against some other open defects. Often the prioritization is done by a formal control board of changes depending on the organization’s size and structure. The priority is determined with from the management, customer and project team representation.
After a defect is prioritized, it is assigned to the developer or some other technician for fixing.
Then the developer fixes this defect and moves its fix back to the environment in which the defect was identified originally.
According to the environment of the defect’s location and its fix’s application, the testing team or the customer normally verifies that this fix resolved the defect indeed.
Once the defect is resolved and verified, it should be marked ‘closed’ and move on to the last stage.
Appropriate individuals should be provided with management reports at regular intervals according to the defined reporting requirements. On-demand reports can be additionally provided when needed.
In case of implementation inside a specific organization, these steps would have somewhat more detailed operating procedures and policies of executing the process details.
In Part 2 of our Defect Management Guide we will also list some key features you should look for in tools for effective defect management.