Defect Management Tutorial: A Comprehensive Guide With Examples and Best Practices
In this tutorial, learn all the basics of the Defect Management process, including its importance, phases, and more.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
Defect management is the process of identifying, documenting, and tracking defects (bugs or issues) in a software product. It is an important part of the software development process that ensures defects are identified and addressed in a timely manner.
Analyzing bugs that need identification, documentation, monitoring, and addressing large codebases of complex software applications can be a daunting task. In addition, satisfying the expectations of end-users is also crucial. This is where Defect management comes to the rescue.
Since making a software application 100% defect-free is impossible, Defect management helps minimize defects, identify defects in the earlier stages of the software development lifecycle, and mitigate the impact.
What Is the Defect in Software Testing?
Defects in software testing are variations between the end's requirements or business requirements. A defect in a software application is an error in the application's code that provides the expected output.
Testers who validate a code snippet see deviations or differences between the expected and existing outcomes. These variations are known as defects. They typically identify defects during test execution.
The defect is also known as bugs, issues, or incidents.
What Is Defect Management?
Defect prevention is far more successful and efficient in lowering the number of flaws when managing defects. It also makes it very affordable to repair any shortcomings discovered early in the software development process. Simply put, finding and addressing issues constitutes the Defect management process.
Less buggy software will be readily available in the market if Defect management is conducted more effectively and with full attention. Most businesses use a Defect management process that includes defect discovery, removal, and improvement.
The primary objectives of adopting Defect management for various projects or organizations are:
- It offers operational help for fixing and retesting discovered flaws.
- It provides information for a defect status and progress report.
- It gives suggestions for guidance on defect release.
- It determines the primary cause of the condition and suggests fixes.
Why Should You Consider Defect Management?
In a reductive process, defect data management requires as much input as feasible. Customers, product managers, quality test engineers, software engineers, and tech support staff have important fault input that needs documentation. It functions best when everyone notifies the system of any uncovered flaws.
You must consider Defect management because it helps in several ways, such as:
- Removing false positives brought on by test environment anomalies, test code or data problems, or test process flaws.
- Deleting duplicate entries when a bug produces results that appear to testers to be a collection of unrelated issues.
- Removing items from the list won't deter people from reporting defects on a timely basis.
Benefits of Defect Management
Before proceeding further in this Defect management tutorial, let us look at the benefits of the Defect management process, which optimizes the organization's workflows. Software tools involve the detection or tracking of non-technical issues.
- Existence of defect tracking tools: Defect tracking is one of the critical steps in the Defect management process. Many defect-tracking tools are available to track flaws, like Jira, Trello, Asana, Hive, etc.
- Verify resolution: The defect management process also aids in determining whether or not all issues that are discovered or tracked have been addressed. Simply say, it enables us to ensure the rectification of tracked issues.
- Provide useful metrics: The Defect management process offers defect metrics and automation tools. These defect metrics are helpful for reporting and ongoing development.
Limitations of Defect Management
Having looked at the benefits, you must also consider the limitations for adequately implementing the process in the correctly designated areas.
- If you do not handle the Defect management process correctly, there will be a significant cost increase over time, and consequently, it would escalate the product price.
- If faults or defects are not handled correctly at an early stage, they may later cause more harm and increase the cost of repair.
- If the Defect management process does not execute correctly, further drawbacks such as loss of revenue, customers, and tarnished brand reputations can occur.
Defect Management Life Cycle
The below defect life cycle describes the workflow of the Defect management process:
- Whenever the testing team discovers a bug in the software, they mark it as "New."
- An "Open" status indicates that the issue is ready to be assigned to the development team once a QA lead assesses it and determines it to be valid.
- The status of the defect changes to "Assigned" when a QA lead assigns it to the appropriate developer. At this point, a developer needs to start identifying and fixing the flaw.
- The developer rejects the flaw when they believe it to be untrue or invalid. The testing team receives a new assignment, and the defect has the status of "Rejected."
- An "Open" status indicates that the issue is ready to be assigned to the development team once a QA lead assesses it and determines it to be valid. The defect status is changed to "Duplicate" if the problem is reported twice or if both defects have the same symptoms and procedures for reproduction.
- If difficulties or hurdles in the current release prevent a specific flaw from being fixed, that defect receives the status of "Deferred" or "Postponed."
- Developers can identify a flaw as "Not Reproducible" if they cannot reproduce it using the "Steps to Reproduce" provided by the testing team. The testing team should now give developer-specific reproduction instructions.
- Developers can flag bugs as "Need additional information" if they are unclear about the procedures provided by QA to reproduce the fault. The testing team must give the development team the necessary information in this situation.
- A flaw is marked as a "Known defect" if it is already known and present in the production environment.
- The error is "Fixed" when a developer makes the required adjustments
- The developer now changes the status to "Ready for Retest" and sends the bug to the testing team for verification.
- The tester marks the defect as "Closed" if it correctly validates and there are no new issues.
- The remark of the problem is "Reopened" if the tester discovered during retesting that it was still reproducible or only partially fixed. The developer must now investigate this flaw once further.
Phases of Defect Management
We are often involved in designing, testing, deploying, and shipping products that we cannot get ahead to put proactive Defect management processes and tools to reduce the risks upfront.
So, let us look at the Defect management phases in detail to manage our defects effectively.
Defect prevention is the first step in the Defect management process. The optimal approach is to correct any flaws discovered early in the testing process rather than waiting until they are found and fixed.
Because it is less expensive, you can lessen the impact in the initial stages of addressing or resolving faults. But for later stages, finding flaws and then fixing them can be expensive, along with exacerbating the impacts of a problem.
The following are the main steps in defect prevention:
This approach saves money because addressing flaws discovered during early testing doesn't need much. The best method for minimizing the impact of a defect is to remove it within the initial development stage.
- Determine critical risks: By identifying the risk, we can analyze the projected financial impact of each crucial situation. Determine the system's critical risks, which will have a more significant impact if they arise during testing or later. The risk of defects is reduced in this stage by following procedures, methodology, and best practices.
- Estimate expected impact: Once we identify every considerable risk, we may focus on the higher risks to the system and attempt to reduce or eliminate them. You can't eliminate options that will lessen their likelihood of happening and their economic implications. For each critical incident, determine the financial impact of the risk.
- Reduce predicted impact: After identifying all significant defects, focus on the top defects that, if present, could affect the system and attempt to reduce or remove the risk. Because when it comes to defect prevention, we can immediately pinpoint the system's key risks that will have a more significant impact if they materialize during testing or at a later stage.
The Deliverable baseline is the second step in the Defect management process. Here, the delivery defines the design, documentation, or development.
When a deliverable (or product) hits its predetermined milestone during development, we can state that it is a baseline. As the product is transferred from one milestone to the next, the defect in the deliverable has a more significant impact on the existing system. In other words, we may claim that you can control the further changes once a deliverable is baselined.
It is the next step in the Defect management process. It is impossible to make a system defect-free by eliminating all of its flaws. Additionally, it could result in longer-term harm. However, you can spot the flaws early on before they increase the project's cost.
The following steps in the defect discovery process:
Only a flaw is detected if developers have acknowledged or recorded it as a valid one. When a fault is officially reported to the development team and recognized as a defect, we can claim the defect's detection.
- Find a defect in the system before it becomes a significant issue. It is the first step in the defect discovery process.
- As soon as the testing team discovers a defect, they have to inform the development team that there is a problem that needs to be looked into and fixed.
- If a genuine issue is assigned to the development team by the testing team, it is the development team's job to acknowledge the defect and go forward with fixing it.
It involves fixing the flaws step-by-step. The method of fixing a defect starts with assigning it to a developer, who then schedules it for correction according to priority, sets it, and sends a resolution report to the test manager. To fix the issue, you can take the actions below.
To fix the issue, you can take the actions below:
- Assignment: It involves assigning a task to a developer (or other technicians) and changing the status to 'Responding.'
- Fixing the schedule: Fixing the schedule: The developer side is in command in this phase. Depending on the priority of the issues, they will develop a plan for improving them.
- Fix the flaw: The test manager keeps track of the defect-fixing process compared to the above timeline while the development team is working to address the shortcomings.
- Report the resolution: When you fix the bugs, ask for a report from the developers detailing the resolution.
All the stages mentioned above involve organizing and fixing the defects. We will now examine the lower-priority issues because they are still crucial and impact the system during the process improvement phase. From the standpoint of the process improvement phase, all acknowledged issues are equivalent to significant defects and must be fixed.
Everyone involved in the project must look back and determine the source of the issue to improve the process. Though you need to prioritize faults and address them during the defect resolution process, this does not imply that lower-priority issues are unimportant or do not significantly influence the system from a process standpoint.
All flaws found are considered critical problems from the process improvement perspective. Based on that, you can adjust the base-lining document, review process, and validation process to catch defects earlier in the Defect management process when they are less expensive.
Role of Defect Report in Managing Defects
A defect report is a detailed document that contains defect information like its description, stack traces, expected and actual outcomes, and other vital information. It ensures the defect is identified and fixed before it affects our users. A defect report can be 2 to 20 pages or more.
You should include the following information in your Defect report.
- Defect ID: Maintain a unique defect ID. You can also generate it via bug-tracking tools.
- Heading: Give a short and crisp heading that defines the problem statement.
- Description: A summary of the defect describes how and when the defect was found.
- Screenshots and video recordings: Attaching a screenshot of the defect and its video recording can help you locate the issue quickly.
- Expected vs. actual results: Convey what should be the expected results and what is the actual result to help the developer get a clear picture of what's expected and what's not.
- Environment: Include the necessary information about the test environment like browser, version, operating system, resolution, etc.
- Source URL: It helps developers know the defect's exact location.
- Priority and severity: Specify the severity of the defect and prioritize it accordingly.
- Additional information: Provide extra chunks of information like your name, due date, developer to whom the task has been assigned, etc.
How To Manage Your Defects Effectively?
Defect management is the key aspect of the software development process. Irrespective of whether the bug is minor or major, it's vital to log, manage and fix each defect to build effective and scalable applications. Hence, choosing a defect management platform is critical. Several solutions like LambdaTest are available in the market and come with defect-tracking features.
Important Defect Metrics
Let's consider that you reported 52 bugs; out of them, only 34 are identified as actual defects. It implies that 18 reported defects were incorrect and involved some error while performing software testing. So, how can you estimate the quality of test execution?
A few metrics are helpful when it comes to measuring the quality of test case execution:
- Defect rejection ratio: Number of defects rejected/Total number of defects identified)*100.
- Defect leakage ratio: Number of defects missed/Total number of defects identified)*100.
If the value of DRR and DLR is low (5~10%), the better the quality of the test execution.
For the above scenario, the defect rejection ratio is 34.61%, and the defect leakage ratio is 52.94%.
Defect management is the core of software testing. The entire software development process should adhere to the Defect management approach, not just specific testing or development activities.
You can find and fix software issues as a part of the Defect management process. The entire Defect management procedure will assist in identifying the issue as early as possible and ensuring that the end-users get a high-quality product.
Published at DZone with permission of Harshit Paul, DZone MVB. See the original article here.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.