Posted by tac_admin, July 6, 2011

How to Report Defects to the Development Manager – Also your Manager

Some organizations have the software testers reporting to the development manager. Not an ideal situation for obvious reasons, and that’s a whole other discussion.

I’m focusing now on how to report the defects to the person that may have written some of the code or at the very least has people reporting to them that wrote the code…and that you personally report to.

As part of your testing process, you should:

  • Develop a pre-defined severity and priority with definitions of each value.
  • Gain buy-in from your manager on these definitions
  • Use these definitions in the test plan for every testing project.
  • Define exit criteria in terms of severity and priority. An example: In order to exit SIT testing, there must be no critical defects and work arounds must be identified for all high defects.
  • Create exit criteria for each phase of testing. UAT exit criteria example: In order to exit UAT testing, there must be no critical or high defects and work arounds must be identified for all medium defects.
  • Gain buy-in from your manager on these definitions
  • Provide an ‘Exit Criteria’ summary report, in terms of the number of bugs that are active in terms of the percentages defined in the exit criteria, in addition to your normal defect report.

When delivering the test results to the development team, business partners, and anyone else, it’s important to remain objective and professional. Let the data speak for itself.

  • If the decision is made to go live even if you don’t agree, accept the decision.
  • Keep copies of your defect reports and findings for future reference.

As testers, we are passionate about delivering the best product possible and sometimes feel it’s a bad reflection on us if buggy code is moved to production. As the tester, we don’t have control over those decisions and we need to recognize we’ve done the best job possible.


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