It’s that time again to make your New Year’s resolutions! Setting goals for your personal and professional life is important for overall happiness and success. So if you’re involved in software development, what could be more important than resolving to track issues more efficiently? After all, if you’re writing code you’ll undoubtedly run into a few bugs along the way. The processes you put in place to resolve those issues are what will ultimately determine if you produce high-quality software or not.
Okay, okay, so how do you improve your bug tracking if there’s no set process that will work for every team? Well, there are some fundamentals you’ll want to implement and some best practices you can follow to get well on your way.
Fundamentals for effective issue tracking
Whether you’re using rudimentary methods like sticky notes and spreadsheets or a powerful bug tracking system, the fundamentals are the same:
1. Make the process of reporting bugs simple enough that people will use it, but detailed enough to capture all the necessary information.
2. In bug reports, outline the steps necessary to reproduce the bug.
3. Prioritize and schedule bugs to be fixed.
Bug tracking best practices
After you get the fundamentals down, it’s time to step up your game and start tracking bugs more efficiently!
1. Use a unified system to track all your issues. Using sticky notes or spreadsheets makes it easy to record issues, but these tools lack the level of detail and organization necessary to effectively track and manage issues. An online bug tracking system is a better solution for monitoring issues in a single database.
2. Evaluate bug tracking systems with all your stakeholders, including developers, quality assurance, customer service, and project managers. A good bug tracking database won’t be effective if your entire team doesn’t buy in to using it.
3. Set the following required fields for defect reports:
· A clear, searchable title.
· A description of the defect.
· The minimal steps necessary to reproduce the defect.
· The environment (which browser to use, etc.)
· The expected results.
· Who the bug is assigned to.
· The priority or severity
· The associated project, release, or version.
· An option to include screenshots.
4. Set up your workflow steps to match your tracking process. For example, a bug might move through these steps:
c. Being Fixed
d. Ready for Testing
5. Enforce your tracking process. You can set different rules, such as every bug must go through “Testing” before being moved to “Fixed.”
6. Keep communication flowing between the people reporting the bugs and the developers who are fixing them. Notifications are a great way to make sure the right people know when a bug is created or moved to a new workflow step.
If you’re looking for more details, check out this in-depth bug tracking best practices guide.
If you’ve got it down and are ready to start tracking issues more effectively, sign up for Axosoft’s fully-developed, free hosted bug tracker!