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Bug Triage/Defect Triage | What, Why & How to Improve?

April 22, 2024Aaron Thomas
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Bug Triage Defect Triage in Software Testing
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Bug triage is a critical step in software testing that entails reviewing, prioritizing, and allocating software defects to the appropriate team for resolution. The defect triage phase is an important aspect of the software development lifecycle. It allows teams to analyze and classify detected bugs based on severity and prioritize them accordingly.

In this blog, we will go through the mechanics of defect triage and why it is so important for effective software testing.

What is Defect Triage?

In software testing, defect triage, or bug triage, is necessary for efficient resource use for bug fixes. During bug triage, a bug or defect is reviewed, assigned a priority, and according to the priority, is either assigned to a developer for fixing or deferred to the next release.

Why Do We Need to have Defect Triage?

Triaging defects is crucial to software development and has several advantages for the project team and the end users. Defect triage is necessary for the following reasons:

  • Prioritization: Defect triage aids the development team in prioritizing defects according to their importance, severity, and urgency. This minimizes the possibility of project delays and failures by ensuring that the most critical bugs/defects are fixed first.
  • Resource allocation: Defect triage aids the development team in prioritizing defects according to their importance, severity, and urgency. This minimizes the possibility of project delays and failures by ensuring that the most critical bugs are fixed first.
  • Improved communication: Defect triage encourages open communication among developers, project managers, and other stakeholders. It enables them to debate and agree on the importance of defects, ensuring they are all on the same page.
  • Better quality software: Because critical bugs are taken on priority and fixed on time, it leads to a high-quality software that satisfies the demands of end users .
  • Cost savings: Defect triage helps reduce the cost of addressing faults by resolving them early. It helps in saving costs spent later in the development process.
  • Customer satisfaction: Defect triage ensures that the program satisfies the needs and expectations of end users. This results in improved levels of customer satisfaction.

How Often Defect Triage Needs to be Conducted in a Release?

The frequency of defect triage can vary depending on the project’s size, complexity, and urgency. However, in general, defect triage should be conducted:

  • At the start of the project: A defect triage should be conducted at the beginning to identify any potential defects and establish a process for handling them.
  • After each development phase: Defect triage should be conducted after each development phase. This ensures defects are identified and resolved before moving on to the next phase.
  • Before each release: Defect triage should be conducted before every release. This can help to minimize the risk of defects being discovered by end-users after the software is released.
  • Regularly: Defect triage should be conducted throughout development to identify and resolve any new defects promptly.

The project’s needs and development process will determine the precise frequency of defect triage.

What Result can be Expected Out of the Bug Triaging?

Here are some of the results that can be expected from bug triaging:

  • Prioritized defect list: Bug triaging helps prioritize defects based on severity, impact, and urgency, reducing the likelihood of project delays, failures and blocker bugs for customers.
  • Optimized resource allocation: The development team can effectively manage resources by prioritizing faults and focusing on the most significant concerns.
  • Improved communication: Bug triaging encourages open communication between developers, project managers, and other stakeholders. Allowing them to debate and agree on the importance of bugs.
  • Reduced risk: Bug triaging helps to detect problems early. Reducing the likelihood of errors being overlooked until later stages of development or deployment.
  • Higher quality software: Bug triaging helps to assure software quality and satisfies the demands of end users by reviewing and addressing bugs early.
  • Improved customer satisfaction: Bug triaging ensures that the program fulfills the needs and expectations of end users. This results in improved levels of customer satisfaction.
  • Cost savings: Bug triaging helps to reduce the cost of addressing faults by resolving them early in the development process rather than later in the process or after the product has been distributed.

What are the Roles and Responsibilities of the Triage Team during the Defect Triage Meeting?

At a defect triage meeting, the triage team identifies, evaluates, and assigns issues for solutions to the development team. At the defect triage meeting, the triage team consists of the following:

  • Facilitator: The triage team facilitator ensures everyone follows the triage protocol, gets a chance to contribute, and the team is focused on discovering and prioritizing faults.
  • Project manager: The project manager is responsible for providing feedback on the priority of faults and ensuring the right development team member is responsible for resolving them.
  • Quality assurance (QA) lead: The QA lead is responsible for reviewing the defects and providing input on their severity and impact on the software. They should also ensure the development team has the information to reproduce and resolve the defects.
  • Development team representative: The development team representative advises on the viability of fixing bugs and allocating them to the proper team member with the required competence. The development team representative is responsible for providing input on the feasibility of resolving defects; assigning them to the appropriate team member with the necessary expertise.

Bugs can be prioritized efficiently when each member is given a defined role and responsibility during the meeting.

Recommendations to Improve the Bug Triage Process

Here are some recommendations to improve the bug triage process:

1. Define a transparent bug triage process:

Establish a precise and uniform procedure to prioritize faults, designate them to the development team, and track them to ensure they are quickly fixed. This will ensure everyone is aware of their duties and responsibilities.

2. Automate the bug triage process:

If the project is a large one, there is a possibility that at one time, a lot of bugs are reported. Going through each and every bug in such a scenario could be a time-taking task.

Here is a guide that talks in detail about automated testing

Learn more

In such cases, it is recommended to automate the bug triage process. Here, specific developers could be automatically assigned when bugs are reported for specific features. Also, for large projects, test automation might be used too. In such cases, it is recommended that you use bug-tracking tools that support this feature of allocating specific developers automatically, corresponding to the feature of a reported bug. For this, ensure your test automation tool integrates with your bug tracking tool. Testsigma is a no-code test automation tool that lets you automate for web, mobile, APIs, and desktop from the same place. And integrates with all popular bug-tracking tools.

Start using Testsigma for a smooth bug-tracking process.

Check out Testsigma

3. Ensure regular bug triage meetings:

Regular bug triage meetings should be held to quickly identify and address new bugs, with all parties involved, including the project manager, QA team, and development team.

4. Monitor and analyze bug triage data:

Insights into patterns and trends that can be addressed in subsequent releases can be found by tracking and analyzing bug triage data.

5. Training and support:

The development and QA teams may be helped to understand and use the bug triage process by offering training and assistance. This will ensure a better understanding of the process and lead to better results.

By implementing these suggestions, businesses may enhance their bug triage procedure and guarantee that errors are quickly found and fixed, leading to higher-quality software and more customer happiness.

Summary

Bug triage entails a group of stakeholders, including the project manager, QA lead, development team representative, and others. The group, during bug triage, decides on the bugs that need fixing and then allocates them to the right development team member for resolution. Bug/Defect triage is critical in ensuring that problems are fixed promptly and efficiently, resulting in higher-quality software.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Triage mean in Testing?

Triage is reviewing and prioritizing faults in testing depending on their severity, effect, and urgency. It entails a group of stakeholders collaborating to decide on the bugs that need fixing and then allocating them to the right development team member for resolution.

How do you Run a Defect/Bug Triage?

Defect triage is a systematic procedure that involves detecting and prioritizing problems, allocating them to the development team, and tracking them. All stakeholders, including the project manager, QA lead, and development team leader, should be included in the process. A set of guidelines and instruments should be used to ensure efficiency and effectiveness.

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