Effective Bug Tracking Process
Bugs are part of every product development process. How do you track the bugs you find during product development and after? Bugs that are found but not properly tracked might slip away and be discovered by your customers. To avoid this from happening, the testing and development team should work together using a bug-tracking tool. The Bug Life Cycle Model (http://www.elementool.com/help/buglifecycle.html) explains how to efficiently use your bug-tracking tool:
- New bugs, enhancements and features (AKA Issues) are submitted to the bug-tracking tool by the testing team or product manager.
- The product manager or team leader sets priority and severity to each new Issue and assigns the Issue to a specific programmer.
- The programmers fix the Issues that have been assigned to them. The fixed Issues status is changed to Fixed in the bug-tracking tool.
- R&D releases a new internal version with the new features and fixed Issues.
- The testing team checks whether all Issues that have been marked as fixed are really fixed.
- The testing team closes the Fixed Issues in the bug-tracking tool. New bugs are submitted go back to No. 1.
What should you look for in a bug-tracking tool:
- Email notifications whenever an Issue is assigned to a group member. It is very useful that your bug-tracking tool would send an automatic email notification informing the programmer that a new Issue has been assign to her.
- File attachments the ability to attach screen shots, text file etc. that provide the other team member with a clear description and example about the problem that has been reported.
- History Trail automatically tracks and displays all changed made in a specific Issue from the moment that the Issue has been submitted throughout its life cycle.
- Full customization It is important that your bug-tracking tool enables you to fully customize the different forms, which are used for submitting Issues, according to your special needs.
- Powerful reports a report engine that enables you to search your Issue list for different words and phrases, create focused reports with only the Issues that interest you (using AND/OR/NOT), set the fields that should be included in your Report Query and set the fields that should be displayed on you Issue Report.
- Submitting issues directly from your website this option enables your customers or team members to submit Issues to your bug-tracking tool using a form that is placed on your website, without the need to login to the tool.
- Web-based enables access to the tool and Issue list from different locations using only a browser.
Setting Priority and Severity
Priority: A priority classification of a software error is based on the importance and urgency of resolving the error. The priority classification is as follows:
- Immediate The bug should be resolved immediately.
- High - This bug should be resolved as soon as possible in the normal course of development activity, before the software is released.
- Medium This bug should be repaired after serious bugs have been fixed.
- Low It can be resolved in a future major system revision or not be resolved at all.
Severity: A severity classification of a software error is based on the degree of the error impact on the operation of the system. The severity classification is as follows:
- Critical The bug causes a failure of the complete software system, subsystem or a program within the system.
- High - The bug does not cause a failure, but causes the system to produce incorrect, incomplete, inconsistent results or impairs the system usability.
- Medium The bug does not cause a failure, does not impair usability, and does not interfere in the fluent work of the system and programs.
- Low The bug is an aesthetic, is an enhancement or is a result of non-conformance to a standard.
Elementool www.elementool.com - The leading Web-based Bug Tracking Tool
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Date this article was posted to GameDev.net: 11/15/2001
(Note that this date does not necessarily correspond to the date the article was written)
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