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Effective Defect Tracking Techniques for Improved Quality

In the world of software development, the defect tracking system plays an important role mainly because it allows various users (customers, developers, and testers) to communicate concurrently with each other about the problems in the application and ensure that all of them have a common perception about the prevailing issues through a shared language. From a traditional point of view, quality assurance was a process that required the assessment of the application, repair, and analysis of the issue after the development had been completed. However, with the adoption of agile and DevOps methodologies in the organizations, effective defect tracking tools are employed to predict, prevent, and analyze the defects in real-time, which allows the teams to stop the bugs before they can happen.

Making Defect Tracking a Priority

With the help of the defect tracking tools, the testing and developer teams can keep a record of all the history and comments related to the defects, and track their progress from the discovery stage to resolution. One of the most important aspects of defect tracking is that it also helps the testers to identify quality trends and devise patterns from the recurring problems and defects so that they can be prevented in the future. The defect tracking system works to optimize the repair processes and equip the system with advanced tools and mechanisms which allow them to be proactive and react to defects faster and in a much more efficient manner. They conduct root cause analysis in order to improve the quality of the testing processes, and also for the overall project.

There are four primary steps and strategies in the defect tracking process which helps the teams to discover any gaps in the applications, address the said gaps, and move closer to their goal of having zero defects in the software development.

Defect Visibility – visibility of the defects in the system allows all members of the team to be on the same page about what decisions are being made and how these decisions are likely to impact their efforts and contributions towards the delivery of the project. The key for this stage is a standardized, accessible, and a single system which can be shared and used by all teams. It begins with an understood and accepted standard process for defect tracking, and a central, standardized tool for managing all issues.  

Defect Prioritization – the most critical step in this stage is to capture the right information so that the teams are able to take actions and prevent defects from happening in the future. Information regarding the defects includes the cost level, level of risk involved, the phase in which the defect is found, the person who discovered and reported the defects, the type of defect, who is it assigned to, etc.

Defect Resolution – in this stage, effective team action, team collaboration, and assignment tracking is required. In a more modern setting, social chat interfaces, email notifications, other user-friendly options can be added to increase the participation of the users.

Defect Analysis – as the last stage in the process, the analysis and review process mainly considers the inputs about the individual defects and creates a framework that includes the root cause analysis, the future possible actions, and measures to prevent future defects. 

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