When I started software testing, I was under the impression that all defects that were found before going live, were fixed. Bar some aesthetic ones which could wait a few days after go-live.

You see, I’m really now only starting to grasp the concept of time, priority, resourcing and acceptable risk. It appears that usually because of one of the aforementioned factors; a bug that I reported just continues to exist in the software and contribute to the statistics in a defect report until it is viable to fix it.

Now, in raising a defect, I do my best to provide as much information as possible for them to not only fix their defect but also make a decision on whether or not it is worth fixing; and if so – when. And here’s a rough outline of what I include:

  • Defect Name
  • Priority
  • Severity
  • Environment Found in
  • Steps to Replicate
  • Description of What’s happening
  • Affected Tests
  • Creation Date/ Due Date
  • Build Found in

But part of me wonders if that is enough for them to make a decision of whether or not a bug is worth fixing. The idea of writing a statement on the risk of not fixing the defect has crossed my mind, but I’m not comfortable assuming I know what exactly constitutes risk for the client.

I’ve found that if something just looks weird and you think that the client would be interested in seeing it – you ask to show them something. You replicate the defect in front of them and then ask what they think.

If this option is not available, part of me also wants to try something a tad unconventional. Say – putting the defect in a ‘real-life’ scenario, and describing the defect in such a way that the impact of the defect is clear.

For example:
You want to grab one of those awesome deals on GrabOne. (This is a website similar to GroupOn)
Look – there’s a superb deal for a gym membership for $20 for 2 months.
You read through the description thinking “Looking good, looking good”
Scanning through the terms and conditions, you notice that they are rather ambiguous with when the deal expires. Offer ends 30 November 2013. Hang on – does that mean you need to start the gym membership by the 30th of November or you need to have used up the deal and finished your membership by the 30th of November?

Now, the problem is, the Start the Discussion hyperlink doesn’t work. It sends you to some error page. This could deter people from grabbing the deal.

Do you add extra information to a defect in order to help it be assessed? If so, what information? Do you ever have trouble convincing someone to fix a defect because they don’t think it is important/likely, even though it actually is?