Defect Management

Author: Anish Prabhu | May 23, 2022

Individual viewing software details through a magnifying glass

The Elements of Effective Defect Management

When developing any product, the harder you look for problems before it goes to market, the better off you will be once it’s there. Software is designed to perform the same task, or set of tasks, over and over. Any unintended variation from that process is considered a defect. Managing and mitigating defects requires a strategic and systematic approach. Having a robust defect management process will help you catch defects early, reduce their impact, resolve the issues, prevent challenges moving forward, and improve your overall process.  

The exact steps the defect management system goes through vary from product to product, but these are some critical elements every defect management workflow should include:  

Prevention The best offense is a good defense, and it holds true in defect management. If developers ensure they have a thorough understanding of their guidelines and follow them, defects may be prevented before they even happen.  

Baseline When a product reaches a milestone, it is considered baseline. Mapping out baseline can help you understand what your project is supposed to accomplish and identify where it is falling short, minimizing your need for defect management later. 

Discovery This is where the defect is identified. It is much better for the project team to discover it than the customer.  

Categorization Using defect categorization can help the product team prioritize managing each defect. It can be helpful to assign each with a category such as low (having only minimal impact on the device’s operation), medium (having some defects that are minor), high (the deviation affects a main function of the product), or critical (the defect must be corrected immediately at the risk of significant damage). 

Resolution Of course, defect management is only effective if it includes resolving the problems. Resolution is where you assign a responsible party, schedule and map out the steps to fix, resolve the defect, and incorporate defect reporting and tracking once the resolution is completed. 

Verification This is where the testing team verifies that the design team fixed the issue as outlined. 

Closure If the defect has been resolved and verified, it is closed in the defect management process. If not, it is cycled back to the design team. 

Reporting Defect reporting and tracking in software testing is when test managers compile the defect report and provide it to the management team for feedback. This allows the management team to give more support as needed and informs improvements needed in the process in the future.  

Improvement It is always a good idea to look back at a process after it is completed. Armed with defect management data, teams can circle back to review previous defects and prevent them from happening in the future. If the defect repeats, the team already has the steps outlined in the system to fix it in shorter time.   

Using Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) for Defect Status Flow 

One way to ensure improvement in your defect management process is to use an ALM defect management tool. Monitoring your defect status in an ALM can help you identify and fix defects earlier, easier, and faster. But it is essential to choose an ALM tool that is right for you.  Sterling’s consulting team is made up of experts who know ALM inside and out. We can help save you time and money with more streamlined product development timelines, smoother workflows, and exceptional defect management. Please contact us if our ALM software consulting services can help you.

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