Defect tracking is often written off as an impediment to the schedules and an unnecessary cost to the organizations; commonly misunderstood and incorrectly implemented, it is usually seen as a repetitive and unglamorous task. However, defect tracking software can be an effective means to achieve high quality in a cost efficient manner. With a great potential to not only improve software quality but also reduce the costs of the project, an efficient defect tracking system can save costs of defective software which can be as high as 50% of the investment in software development.
Defect Tracking Process
Incorporating defect tracking within the developmental process does not suffice. A distinctly defined and progressive process is required to ascertain that the defects are handled systematically, from discovery to resolution.
- Defect repository: after the discovery of the defect, the first step is to log that defect in the tracking database or repository.
- Defects described and prioritized: recording full details for the software defect including symptoms, prioritizing defects as per to their severity and importance, and allocating resources accordingly.
- Structured resolution: the defect tracking software ensures that the defect is resolved in an ordered hierarchy and an appropriate sequence.
- Communication: facilitates the communication of the defect progression and status to the development team.
- Continuous defect resolution: resolving defects as soon as they are discovered in the system instead of accumulating them.
- Defect analysis and evaluation: a means to measure the reliability and the quality of the software.
- Defect reporting: reporting the evaluation and analysis of defects in a way that assists in the decision making process of resource allocation, costs, and scheduling.
Integration of Software Development & Defect Tracking
In a traditional or orthodox approach, the quality assurance and software testing department receives the product at the tail end of development. Right before the implementation process, there is mounting pressure on the team to deliver the product and if the testers receive a low quality product, they are likely to slack off on quality and deliver a product that is plagued with defects. Therefore, in addition to the compromise on quality, the company bears the failure costs and the appraisal costs.
To avoid the accumulation of defects that cause a multitude of problems downstream, companies should adopt early defect detection and resolution practices. With the integration of defect tracking software in the early software development cycle, companies can not only ensure huge cost savings but are also more likely to deliver high quality products.
To err is human but the early defect detection and resolution practices enhance the processes of the company, along with the reduced rework efforts. The continuous checks on the product quality ensure that there is substantial reduction in the frequency and the severity of defects in the software. Moreover, the adoption and application of defect tracking is a team effort which strives to improve the company operations through identification of defects early, reducing the resolution time, and largely minimizing the project costs.