We know that software applications have defects, but all defects cannot be fixed. QA teams decide which defects need to be fixed and this is where the defect triage process comes in the picture. Bug triaging is a process that determines the priority of bugs/defects. Software teams conduct bug triage meetings in which they decide how to categorize and prioritize bugs and use issue tracking tools for assistance. They usually categorize defects in the following:
- Fix the defect now
- Fix the defect later
- Never fix the defect
With the help of defect triage, QA teams can ensure that the bugs are filed correctly. QA testers use bug reports which should be complete and correct for efficient bug tracking. But if your reports are incomplete, this is the right time to address it.
Importance of Bug Triaging
Bug triaging helps QA and development teams with streamlining which defects to work on first. It allows them to achieve success by ensuring the necessary details are recorded in a bug report. There are several other benefits of triaging bugs too. When a customer contacts your support team to report a bug, the support team has the knowledge about all bugs, and they can share timelines about when the bug will be fixed. This process is directly related to backlog grooming and it keeps all the bugs efficiently. Without this process. QA teams can miss easy wins.
Tips for Managing Bugs
It is true that bug triaging consumes time and resources. But it is a crucial part of the software development process. Following are a few tips for bug triaging:
- Be Consistent – Make sure you set regular times (weekly, monthly or during each sprint)
- Verify all information so the developer can fix the bug effectively and efficiently
- Set a priority for each defect. Most of the issue tracking tools have a priority field, make sure you set it to low/medium/high priority
- Add a label such as ‘triaged’ to help sort your backlog
- If it is a duplicate bug, make sure you link it to the original one
- Make sure you verify that the summary and description are correct. If they are incorrect, fix them.
- Verify the issue (bug, feature, tasks) related to the issue are correct
It depends on how structured a QA team is, but a defect triage meeting should be conducted between the development lead, project manager, QA tester and a customer support representative. Representatives from each department will ensure that a variety of options are brought into consideration to make the best decisions. A team lead has a strong understanding of how to fix an issue using the issue tracking tools. A product manager knows whether a bug require improvements or not. All team members bring insights into the specific impact a bug can have on the software quality. Thus, defect triage is an important part of the software lifecycle.
Ray Parker is an entrepreneur and tech enthusiast who loves to incorporate new technologies to get more efficient outcomes. When he’s not marketing his latest venture, he keeps himself busy in writing technical articles to educate peers and professionals. He is a regular contributor at Read Dive.