Defect tracking is an important part of the software testing process which is no short of challenges. It’s to deal with these challenges as early as possible since they can hinder and halt the defect tracking process. These challenges may emerge in discovering, updating, and resolving the defects. Let’s discuss some of these challenges here.
Team’s Participation Level is Very Low
Yes, that can be very tough. Sometimes, getting everyone on your team to use the same bug management tools can be difficult. Collaboration and participation are essentials of a good bug management process and if everyone is using the same bug management tools, then we can see a significant improvement in these aspects. If not, you can’t expect the process to stand on its feet. Using emails for communication among teams is a highly unrecommended practice that can cause a lot of misunderstanding, is highly unproductive and certainly unprofessional.
Reporting Defects is Difficult
Overcomplicating the defect tracking process can backfire badly. Instead, try to keep it simple. Your team members will always feel frustrated when they’ll see too many required fields in the form, find it difficult to upload relevant files, or log in and find the “new issue” link. The issues left unreported go unresolved. Using emails to communicate issues to your team members will only not help the cause and there are more chances of bugs being overlooked in the long-run this way. Therefore, the defect management tools you use must make it easy for everyone to contribute and participate.
The solution is simple: Keep it simple.
Keep your forms simple and offer solutions that ease your team’s work such as drag-and-drop file uploading and, if all else fails, email integration for those who prefer to report issues through email.
Issues Go Unchecked
As mentioned above, a missed bug is an unresolved bug. Issues can be easily lost track of because there are so many of them. It’s always better to mark your bugs with statuses such as “pending” or “on hold” so that you don’t lose sight of them due to countless projects, categories, and milestones. The process of filtering and sorting should be powerful yet simple. You don’t want to overcomplicate it and lose half of your relevant issues by filtering them without even realizing. The solution? Keep options and groups to a minimum and avoid creating buckets for issues to quietly hide in.
Over-Engineering the Process
This brings us back to the term I’ve repeated multiple times in this article, “Simplicity”. Yes, it can’t be emphasized enough. Take the easy root and instead of creating a new tool to solve your problems, try that with your existing bug management tools. The statuses you choose must not be ambiguous or overlapping. They should be simple and clear and they must not require you to redetermine the correct status for a given issue. Issues can be easily forgotten if there are too many statuses. Statuses should only be sufficiently detailed so that even a non-technical person can easily understand instead of wondering, “How is accepted and in-progress different from one another?”.
Bug tracking isn’t always easy, but you can make it less difficult if you keep it simple. Make sure that you are equipped with good bug management tools and processes that help your team do their job.