4.1. Why Bother? The Case for a Formal Bug Tracking System

To start, let me explain some of the terms I'll use to be sure you can understand what I'm talking about. By defect or bug, I mean some problem present in the system under test that would cause it to fail to meet a customer's or user's reasonable expectations of quality. To tie back to Juran's definition of quality in Chapter 1, "Defining What's on Your Plate: The Foundation of a Test Project," a bug is a potential source of product dissatisfaction.

A bug report is a technical document that describes the various symptoms or failure modes associated with a single bug. A good bug report provides the project management team the information they need to decide when and whether to fix a problem. A good bug report also captures the information a programmer will need to fix and debug the problem. Because a bug report is so specific and discrete, it is the most tangible product of testing and represents a well-defined opportunity for the project team to make a decision to increase the quality of the system. (Because we want to focus on problems in the system under test, not in the development or maintenance process, testers should not file bug reports against process breakdowns such as late delivery of test releases. We'll look at a database you can use for that purpose in Chapter 6, "Tips and Tools for Crunch Time: Managing the Dynamic")

A bug tracking system is some program or application that allows the project team to report, ...

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