Pain is temporary, failure lasts forever

Lean, agile living for the running mother of Peter

2008-09-03

What do I need to know about a bug?

If you're using a different work item template for your bugs, you have an oppertunity to think through which attributes a bug or a defect has. The definition we're using for a bug is that if something implemented in the product does not meet the Definition of Done criteria, breaks UI guidelines or does not follow the specs given, it's a bug. If we change our minds about the column order in a grid, it's not a bug, but it can still use the same work item template or follow the same form for describing it.

The most important thing for me and my organisation is the following:
  • Title
    A short description of the percieved error. This must be readable to the person who found the bug so he can recognize it on the list and so that the product owner can spot the business value in fixing it. It must also be clear for the developer what he's supposed to fix. So, you should be extra careful in writing that short title.
  • Description
    Since there are probably some details that are missed in the title, you should write the description to give more details to the developers, po and registrator here.
  • Notes
    The developers need their own notes.
  • Importance
    I use the same scale as for other product backlog items since I'm prioritizing bugs as well as stories and other stuff. I do, how ever, have a rule that have the lowest value on bugs as 1 and the lowest for new stories as 0. Why? Well, if the prioritized stuff is done, then we should fix bugs rather than start implemented new, unwanted features.
  • Registration date and Close date
    Needed to enable the creation of a value stream mapping. I most commonly look at critical bugs and how long they are active.
  • Status
    Not verified, Not done, In progress, Done, Draft and Deleted are the values we use
  • Steps to reproduce
    Steps that anyone can follow to reproduce the bug. Should be mandatory.
  • Source
    Who registered the bug
  • Severity
    How serious the bug is percieved
  • Environment
    Since we have hosted environment and customers who have on-site installations, this is very important
  • Affects versions
    Versions which are affected by the bug

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