So your team is ready to start logging and resolving bugs in your codebase in order to build a better product, but you still don’t have a repeatable, reusable bug tracking template to work from. Unfortunately, that’s how mistakes happen...and keep happening. Without a reliable and simple tracking template, your QA process flow will never get off the ground. There are too many variables standing in your way.
One tester might mark something as “done”... while another might interpret that as “ready for live.” But “done” and “ready for live” can mean different things to different teams. Do you know your bug tracker status definitions? If you’ve got a team of programmers working on one issue—and no one managing the QA process—the margin of error will just keep growing.
That’s why you need a clear, repeatable tracking template to follow. But when you’re getting started, you don’t need to overcomplicate things. In fact, overly complex workflows and bug reports can set you back. Instead, you need to simply follow bug tracking best practices. Then, you need to establish one bug tracking method to follow. From there, you can select the right tool to help you do it all. Here’s an easy-as-pie tracking template you can use to get your team ready for issue management.
The first step to creating the ultimate tracking template is to channel bug tracking best practices. Using these as your guiding light as you develop your bug tracker framework will keep you and your team motivated. They'll also ensure that your process never gets overly and unnecessarily complex. It shouldn't ever be hard to report bugs. The following three best practices are what we’d recommend to track bugs:
When setting up your bug tracker process, the most important step is to define the bug tracking life cycle. Establishing your definitions right off the bat is critical to ensuring consistency across your team and small business. What is a bug tracking life cycle, you might ask? From first discovery to completion, it’s the different phases that a bug goes through until it’s completely squashed. The bug tracking life cycle can shift from issue to issue. For example, some issues might require three to four rounds of testing and retesting just to make sure they are completely resolved.
Other issues might seem simple at first, but as you dig in you’ll find that you’re missing key information. As long as you keep your life cycle definitions consistent, you will find that, despite life cycle variations, you’ll be able to follow the same process for each bug fix. The bug tracking life cycle is comprised of two key areas: bug tracking statuses and the bug tracking workflow. Both are equally important to developing the ultimate bug tracking template. Let’s define both.
The first part of defining your bug tracking life cycle is to list out all of the statuses that a bug must have in order to be resolved. With simplicity as our guidepost when it comes to bug tracking, here are the 13 statuses that we believe encompass everything you need to get your template off the ground:
Once you’ve defined all the bug tracking statuses, now you need to lay out exactly how a bug may flow from each status to the next. As mentioned earlier, the lifecycle from one bug to another may vary, and therefore your workflow should account for statuses that may need to be repeated. See the diagram below of some of the ways that a bug may flow forward and backward during the testing lifecycle:
While this diagram may look overly complex, it’s actually quite straightforward. For example, it makes sense that a bug may get pushed back if it’s not an issue, not reproducible or missing information. From there the team will reassess and consider the next steps to move the issue to fixed or closed.
When creating your tracking template and defining the bug’s life cycle, it’s important that your team has a good grasp on how this flow works. Actually map it out and ask yourself:
Finally, now that you’ve channeled bug tracking best practices and defined the bug tracking life cycle, you’re ready to create your bug tracker tools list in order to select the right one that’ll put your tracking template into action.
Generally speaking, you don’t need a tool with a ton of enterprise features and complicated bug reports when you’re starting out. Instead, you need a tool that makes bug tracking simple, like DoneDone. Most businesses can get by and scale smartly by choosing a lightweight issue tracker for their business. The features that you absolutely need from any issue management system are as follows:
In the end, your business will always need a process for managing and resolving bugs. Build your tracking template by following best practices, defining the bug tracking life cycle and selecting a simple, scalable bug tracker. DoneDone’s pre-built tracking template helps you do all this and more. Built by developers and for developers, it’ll keep your team on track while ensuring things never get unnecessarily complex or arduous. Start your free 14-day trial today.