In a perfect world of software testing, the best kind of defects are the ones that never happen. The prevention of defects is better than the process of identifying and resolving them. Unfortunately, in reality, defects and bugs are an inherent part of the software applications which cannot be avoided. The best course of action in this scenario is to put together a proficient defect management process that has the ability to mitigate the impact of defects through the optimal use of human and financial resources. The later the defects and bugs are found in the development stages, the higher the costs are likely to be for identifying and fixing them. The effort and resources required to manage the issues increases and multiplies with every development stage that the bugs escape from. A well-defined defect management strategy along with a robust defect management tool goes a long way in addressing these concerns for the organization.

Until the software engineers come up with a way to prevent defects and bugs from emerging in the software development and production, a thorough defect tracking and management system are invariably required for the timely delivery of software projects. Defects require constant and meticulous monitoring, testing, resolving, and re-releasing to the production systems. The problem with many organizations is that, even in this day and age, defect management tools are utilized on an ad hoc basis. There are considered a small part of the development process, that is only limited to the quality assurance team and should mainly take place after the development phase has been completed. Contrary to the general opinion, the defect management process should take place across all stages of the software lifecycle so that bugs can be caught in the early phases before they transform into more complex problems. It should happen at all levels of testing and must be incorporated in the system from the initial phases. Given that bugs are not restricted to any one area or aspects of the software application, then the defect tracking and management software should also be employed by all teams and departments to ensure high-quality end products.

Metrics for Best Defect Management Tools

Anything that deviates from the expected behavior of the application or anything that threatens the value or outcome of the software product can be classified as defects. Therefore, companies have developed an effective defect coping mechanism to deal with them and prevent them from occurring in the future. This mechanism is essentially based on a three-step workflow;
detecting, resolving, and re-testing, thus duteous tracking and triaging of defects and issues are necessitated.

1. The workflow and defect states for each software project varies which means that the defect management software should be sufficiently flexible and customizable so that it allows the teams to determine their own defect states and milestones to transition from one state to another.

2. An effective defect management system should be able to create a shared platform for all teams across the organization to communicate and work towards a common goal. Efficient communication between teams regarding the defects and issues is required to ensure that everyone has the same understanding of the problems. Most of the good defect management software has the notification feature where the relevant team members are instantly notified if an issue is assigned to them. This makes sure that all defects are addressed and nothing is left in limbo.

3. The prioritization of defects in the system is the key to the adequate organization of the bugs. By allocating priority levels to the issues, based on the urgency and impact, the implementation schedule and resource allocation are defined. Through this process, not only the project risk is minimized by making the most effective use of resources, but the operational impact of the business is also enhanced.
4. Detailed and comprehensive reports that are generated in real-time are another feature that augments the benefits of the defect tracking and management tool by tenfold. Not only are the teams able to save a lot of time by accessing real-time reports, but through this feature, it is also ensured that all team members are on the same page. As the reports are constantly updated with facts and history of the defects, valuable insights can be derived from them for future use. Project managers can use these insights to identify most defect prone and risky areas of the system so most of the testing efforts can be targeted on them.

Author's Bio: 

As a Senior Marketing Consultant at Kualitatem, Ray Parker loves to write tech-related news, articles, specifically quality assurance and information security. Apart from his techie appearance, he enjoys soccer, reading mysteries, and spending long hours working over at the New York office.