Bug Life Cycle & Guidelines
In this tutorial you will learn about Bug Life Cycle & Guidelines, Introduction, Bug Life Cycle, The different states of a bug, Description of Various Stages, Guidelines on deciding the Severity of Bug, A sample guideline for assignment of Priority Levels during the product test phase and Guidelines on writing Bug Description
Bug can be defined as the abnormal behavior of the software. No software exists without a bug. The elimination of bugs from the software depends upon the efficiency of testing done on the software. A bug is a specific concern about the quality of the Application under Test (AUT).
Bug Life Cycle:
In software development process, the bug has a life cycle. The bug should go through the life cycle to be closed. A specific life cycle ensures that the process is standardized. The bug attains different states in the life cycle. The life cycle of the bug can be shown diagrammatically as follows:
The different states of a bug can be summarized as follows:
9. Rejected and
Description of Various Stages:
1. New: When the bug is posted for the first time, its state will be “NEW”. This means that the bug is not yet approved.
2. Open: After a tester has posted a bug, the lead of the tester approves that the bug is genuine and he changes the state as “OPEN”.
3. Assign: Once the lead changes the state as “OPEN”, he assigns the bug to corresponding developer or developer team. The state of the bug now is changed to “ASSIGN”.
4. Test: Once the developer fixes the bug, he has to assign the bug to the testing team for next round of testing. Before he releases the software with bug fixed, he changes the state of bug to “TEST”. It specifies that the bug has been fixed and is released to testing team.
5. Deferred: The bug, changed to deferred state means the bug is expected to be fixed in next releases. The reasons for changing the bug to this state have many factors. Some of them are priority of the bug may be low, lack of time for the release or the bug may not have major effect on the software.
6. Rejected: If the developer feels that the bug is not genuine, he rejects the bug. Then the state of the bug is changed to “REJECTED”.
7. Duplicate: If the bug is repeated twice or the two bugs mention the same concept of the bug, then one bug status is changed to “DUPLICATE”.
8. Verified: Once the bug is fixed and the status is changed to “TEST”, the tester tests the bug. If the bug is not present in the software, he approves that the bug is fixed and changes the status to “VERIFIED”.
9. Reopened: If the bug still exists even after the bug is fixed by the developer, the tester changes the status to “REOPENED”. The bug traverses the life cycle once again.
10. Closed: Once the bug is fixed, it is tested by the tester. If the tester feels that the bug no longer exists in the software, he changes the status of the bug to “CLOSED”. This state means that the bug is fixed, tested and approved.
While defect prevention is much more effective and efficient in reducing the number of defects, most organization conducts defect discovery and removal. Discovering and removing defects is an expensive and inefficient process. It is much more efficient for an organization to conduct activities that prevent defects.
Guidelines on deciding the Severity of Bug:
Indicate the impact each defect has on testing efforts or users and administrators of the application under test. This information is used by developers and management as the basis for assigning priority of work on defects.
A sample guideline for assignment of Priority Levels during the product test phase includes:
1. Critical / Show Stopper — An item that prevents further testing of the product or function under test can be classified as Critical Bug. No workaround is possible for such bugs. Examples of this include a missing menu option or security permission required to access a function under test.
2. Major / High — A defect that does not function as expected/designed or cause other functionality to fail to meet requirements can be classified as Major Bug. The workaround can be provided for such bugs. Examples of this include inaccurate calculations; the wrong field being updated, etc.
3. Average / Medium — The defects which do not conform to standards and conventions can be classified as Medium Bugs. Easy workarounds exists to achieve functionality objectives. Examples include matching visual and text links which lead to different end points.
4. Minor / Low — Cosmetic defects which does not affect the functionality of the system can be classified as Minor Bugs.
Guidelines on writing Bug Description:
Bug can be expressed as “Result followed by the action”. That means, the unexpected behavior occurring when a particular action takes place can be given as bug description.
1. Be specific. State the expected behavior which did not occur - such as after pop-up did not appear and the behavior which occurred instead.
2. Use present tense.
3. Don’t use unnecessary words.
4. Don’t add exclamation points. End sentences with a period.
5. DON’T USE ALL CAPS. Format words in upper and lower case (mixed case).
6. Mention steps to reproduce the bug compulsorily.
The figure is quite complicated but when you consider the significant steps in bug life cycle you will get quick idea of bug life.
On successful logging the bug is reviewed by Development or Test manager. Test manager can set the bug status as Open, can Assign the bug to developer or bug may be deferred until next release.
When bug gets assigned to developer and can start working on it. Developer can set bug status as won’t fix, Couldn’t reproduce, Need more information or ‘Fixed’.
If the bug status set by developer is either ‘Need more info’ or Fixed then QA responds with specific action. If bug is fixed then QA verifies the bug and can set the bug status as verified closed or Reopen.
Bug status description:
These are various stages of bug life cycle. The status caption may vary depending on the bug tracking system you are using.
1) New: When QA files new bug.
2) Deferred: If the bug is not related to current build or can not be fixed in this release or bug is not important to fix immediately then the project manager can set the bug status as deferred.
3) Assigned: ‘Assigned to’ field is set by project lead or manager and assigns bug to developer.
4) Resolved/Fixed: When developer makes necessary code changes and verifies the changes then he/she can make bug status as ‘Fixed’ and the bug is passed to testing team.
5) Could not reproduce: If developer is not able to reproduce the bug by the steps given in bug report by QA then developer can mark the bug as ‘CNR’. QA needs action to check if bug is reproduced and can assign to developer with detailed reproducing steps.
6) Need more information: If developer is not clear about the bug reproduce steps provided by QA to reproduce the bug, then he/she can mark it as “Need more information’. In this case QA needs to add detailed reproducing steps and assign bug back to dev for fix.
7) Reopen: If QA is not satisfy with the fix and if bug is still reproducible even after fix then QA can mark it as ‘Reopen’ so that developer can take appropriate action.
8 ) Closed: If bug is verified by the QA team and if the fix is ok and problem is solved then QA can mark bug as ‘Closed’.
9) Rejected/Invalid: Some times developer or team lead can mark the bug as Rejected or invalid if the system is working according to specifications and bug is just due to some misinterpretation.