The Need for Tracking Issues (Defects)

During the development of any project, various kinds of issues can be found especially by testing team. Those issues are concerns with the project which can be either good or bad. They need to be communicated to project team in order to take necessary actions.

There are various ways to communicate the issues found by testing team. We must use the one that helps us in organizing the issues and keeping track of them. Using emails or printed reports to communicate is inflexible. Each person has to keep track of all emails/documents which can be lost and in case of being lost, the corresponding issue(s) are lost too.

My experience with this is interesting. Before using a tool for tracking project issues, project team agreed to use excel sheets to communicate the issues and those excel sheets are to be kept in a central repository. However, tracking the issues was so difficult especially with several projects and different releases for each project. At the end, the claims were put that testing team is not reporting the issues. Sorry to say that the reality was that no one from project team was checking the available excel sheets! Moreover, our testing team started to faced lots of difficulties when updating the excel sheets. Therefore, we have to find a solution and the situation can not stay the same.

Solution

The only solution was to have a defect tracking tool. We called it Issue Tracker since some people are sensitive with the term ‘defect’. Of course we spent sometimes evaluating available open-source tools. After tool implementation, all issues related to all projects became available now to everyone and all in one place. Also, the history of change of issues is available too. Therefore, immediately we were able to start collecting the fruits of tool implementation.

However, are all our problems solved? Unfortunately, the answer is NO. Bringing a tool is not only the solution. Actually, bringing the tool causes other issues to raise. There should be time and effort spent to overcome these issues and utilize the tool in the correct way. This requires collaboration of all team members in order to achieve the goals. Otherwise, the case will be what they say “A fool with a tool is still a fool.”.

In the next post, I will be talking about bringing the tool to the organization including the interesting things that happened. This will include lots of lessons we can learn from so that other organizations do not fall into the same mistakes

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