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Setting Priorities and Severities with Bug Tracking Software
To ensure the ongoing performance and quality of their products, many companies utilize bug tracking software. This software assists the management team in evaluating and monitoring any bugs that might develop and potentially cause disastrous results. If a product is in its infancy, then it might require more intense tracking and follow-up by the management team. This team, which usually consists of the QA team and software developers, needs to know how to set priorities and severities so that they can effectively solve any issues that arise.
So how does management know how to set priorities? Usually the team leader or project coordinator sets the priority and severity of each new issue or bug that arises once the bugs are submitted into the bug tracking software. Hereís how it works: The team leader decides on the importance of resolving the error - low, medium, high or immediate priority. A low priority error can either be completely ignored or pushed off to a later date. These errors do not affect the overall performance of a product. A medium error, although a bit more serious, can wait until higher priority bugs are fixed. When a bug is classified as a high priority, the issue is usually resolved as soon as possible. The highest classification is an immediate priority Ė a bug that has to be fixed now. For example, if a new microwave is due to hit the shelves, but the productís computerized heating system is faulty, it can potentially cause a fire. The bug would have to be immediately fixed and the product retested before its release date.
The second part of the equation is properly assigning the severity classifications of bugs that are submitted into the bug tracking software. Once again, the team leader decides which classification the bug belongs to. A low severity bug is not an integral part of the systemís performance. If itís not corrected, the product or system can still effectively operate. A medium severity bug still does not affect overall performance or usability. A bug classified as high priority is serious, and can negatively affect the systemís performance. The highest level is critical Ė it causes a complete failure somewhere in the system.
Utilizing a quality bug tracking system is the first step in properly classifying bugs which can make or break a productís debut.