How to Write a Good Defect Report? | Writing Great Bug Report

How to Write a Good Defect Report

A good defect report should enable the developer and management to comprehend the issue. If a tester is not reporting a bug correctly, then the programmer will most likely reject this bug stating it as “not reproducible”.  Guidelines to consider while writing great defect reports include following points:

All the relevant information must be provided with the bug report

Use simple sentences to describe the bug. Expert testers regard bug reporting as a skill. Here are some helpful tips to master writing great defect reports.

Report reproducible bugs:

The tester must ensure that the bug is reproducible while reporting a bug. The tester must mention the steps to reproduce the bug and add all the prerequisites for the execution of steps and any test data details to the bug.

Be concise and clear:

  • Try to summarize the issue in a few words, brief but comprehensive. Avoid writing lengthy descriptions of the problem.
  • Describe the issue in pointers and avoid paragraphs. It’s essential to provide all the relevant information, and it helps the developers to understand the issue without any additional to and fro of the bug.
  • The developer must clearly understand the underlying problem with the bug report.

Report bugs early:

It is important to report bugs as soon as you find them. Reporting the bug early will help the team fix the bug early and help deliver the product before.

Avoid Spelling mistakes and language errors:

Proofread all the sentences and check the issue description for spelling and grammatical errors. If required, one can use third-party tools, for example. Grammarly. It will help the developer understand the bug without ambiguity and misrepresentation.

Documenting intermittent issues:

Sometimes, all bugs need to be reproducible. You must have observed that sometimes a mobile app crashes, and you must restart the app to continue. These types of bugs are not reproducible every time.

Testers must try to make a video of the bug in such scenarios and attach it to the report. A video is often more helpful than a screenshot because it will include details of steps that are difficult to document.

Avoid duplication of bugs:

While raising a bug, one must ensure that the bug is not duplicating an already-reported bug. Also, check the list of known and open issues before submitting bugs. Reporting duplicate bugs could cost the same effort for developers, thus impacting the testing life cycle.

Create separate bugs for unrelated issues:

One cannot close a bug unless all the reported issues within it are resolved. Therefore, separate bugs should be created if the issues are not related to each other.

Don’t use an authoritative tone:

While documenting the bug, avoid using a commanding tone, harsh words, or making fun of the developer. A good bug report aims to help the developer and the management understand the bug and its impact on the system. The more accurate and detailed the bug report is, the more quickly and effectively the bug can be resolved.

Essential Features in Bug Report

Various bug reporting tools, like Jira, Bugzilla, Azure DevOps, and Asana, are available in the market. Depending on the project cost, one must select the bug reporting tool.
Excel or Word can also be used for reporting bugs for small projects. Irrespective of the bug logging tools, the tester must capture some details in the bug report.

Below are the essential details that should be mentioned while creating a bug report:

1. Bug ID

Each bug should be given a unique identification number. Bug reporting tools automatically provide a unique number to the newly raised bugs. This field helps to identify the bug quickly.

2. Summary

A summary of the issue should be provided. The summary should be a concise statement that helps to identify the problem. Bug titles should be easy to understand, which would help pinpoint the issue quickly. A good bug summary allows managers to review the bugs quickly during the bug review meetings.

3. Description

The description should be provided in the bug to help the developer understand the bug. It should be in simple language that a developer can understand easily. All the details about the environment and the type of user privileges must be mentioned.

4. Test Steps

Test steps are a detailed description of the exact steps taken to replicate an issue and should be included when reporting a problem. They provide the necessary information for developers to identify and debug any issues. Test steps should be written clearly and concisely, outlining each step in detail so the developer can easily follow it.

5. Expected Results

Developers must mention expected results corresponding to failed steps, which will help them know the exact behavior to adapt while fixing the bug. This section will also be helpful while retesting the bug.

6. Actual Results

The actual result of the test steps must be mentioned. Regardless of the outcome, documenting what happened to conclude the result will help improve future scenarios.

7. Reporter:

Bug reporting tools automatically fetch the name and email of the reporter of the bug. This helps the developer or reviewer to identify who reported the bug quickly. Developers can contact the reporter if any discussion is required around the bug.

8. Reported date:

Mention the date when raising the bug to identify the release where the bug occurred.

9. Assignee:

The product owner or development manager should be assigned the bug. They can review the bug and plan the fix per the team member’s bandwidth and module expertise. Developers can pick bugs according to priority when they leave some cases unassigned and add them to the bugs queue.

10. Severity

The tester defines it for bugs depending upon the impact on the application. Severity can be as follows:

i. Blocker: Blocks development and testing work and the actual use of the system/product.
ii. Significant: Major loss of function, with no workaround; other parts of the product/system still work.
iii. Average: Normal loss of function or other problems with a problematic workaround. iv.Minor: Minor loss of function or other problem where a workaround is current for the functionality

11. Priority

The tester/product owner defines it as a bug, considering its severity, probability, business needs, time, and resources available.

i. Critical: Bugs that are mission-critical to the application’s core functionality and for which there are no workarounds.
ii. Urgent: Bugs related to the application’s core functionality must be fixed urgently within the sprint. The team can fix bugs that do not affect critical user functionality and have workarounds at the next sprint.
iv. Standard: Bugs that do not interfere with core functionality are just annoyances that may or may not ever be fixed.
v. Low: Whatever gets defined as low might be kept in the backlog and closed as a known issue.

12. Component

Sometimes, an application is classified into multiple modules mentioned under the component field when a bug is reported. It becomes easier to analyze which module has problems. When bugs are assigned with the corresponding components mentioned, it becomes easier for the development manager to set the bug to respective team members based on their areas of expertise.

13. Affected Version

It is the version of the application on which the bug is reported. Knowing the exact application version can also provide valuable insight into how widespread the bug may be and what other users may be experiencing. Having this information available can save time and resources when working to resolve any potential issues with an application.

14. Fix Version

It is the application’s version on which the bug is fixed. When a tester identifies a bug, they can update the application version to fix it. This requires careful consideration of the code and any potential changes that may be necessary.

The tester retests the application once the bug is set to ensure it works as expected. If there are any issues, they can be addressed and corrected before releasing the new version of the software.

15. Date Closed

It is the date the bug is closed by the testing team. Closing a bug is an integral part of the software testing process. The date a bug is closed is recorded in the bug tracking system, along with any notes regarding how it was resolved and who was responsible for fixing it.

This information can be used as reference material for future troubleshooting efforts and as a record of progress toward improving software quality.

16. Target version

It is the application’s version on which a bug is targeted to be fixed. When developers work on fixing a bug, they usually target a specific application version. This allows them to focus on resolving the issue in that particular version while ensuring other versions are unaffected by any changes they make.

By targeting a specific version of an application, developers can ensure that all users running that version will receive the bug fix and benefit from it.

17. Status

A software bug undergoes a cycle and receives a status based on its position in the cycle. For instance, a new bug has an open status.. Later, it goes through various stages like In Progress, Fixed, Won’t Fix, Accepted, Reopen, Verified, etc. These stages vary following different bug reporting tools.

18. Attachments

Attach screenshots, videos, and logs for any failed steps. Highlight the issues in the screenshots to help developers visualize them quickly. Use videos and logs to recreate the issue with the necessary steps.