Issue reporting and management is very important to any product, but in the world of computer software, it’s even more important. To keep it simple, software engineers should use only two kind of issue: bug and improvement. You may call them defect and enhancement, but there is no point in complicating the names with very minor difference: “defect, bug, fault, error, failure, mistake, issue”; or “enhancement, improvement, new feature, task, risk, dependency, issue” ; unless everyone’s already familiar to the basic two and ready to approach more advanced classifications.
IMHO, the most important factors to the usability of an issue management system is the reporting templates: bug-report template and improvement-request template.
+ Because it makes the report more effective and more efficient to both reporters (users/QA) and assignees (developers/supporters) .
Why effective/efficient reports are neccessary to assignees?
+ Because they help assignees understand the expectation and reproduce the bug much easier and in less time .
Why effective/efficient reports are neccessary to reporters?
+ Because they help reporters write in less time, express the expectation easier, thus reduce the possibility of bug-reject “not reproducible” from assigners. Hence it gets the bug fixed quicker and protect the reporters from moral/ego hurt .
Ok, any sample template for bug-report ?
+ Normally, the reporters do NOT CARE about system-management attributes of the issue such as assignee, ID-number, storage, classification, etc… So, an effective template should just focus on the Summary and Description of the defect. Or better, just a Description with bundled Summary and a few essential information such as the below:
SUMMARY: (one-line) STEPS TO REPRODUCE: 1. 2. ACTUAL RESULT: EXPECTED RESULT: ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Product version: Environment: Notes: (workaround, other platform, ...)
Is it that short ? I’ve worked with templates that include 20 items at least…
Repeat, keep it simple ! Otherwise the reporters will eventually get frustrated and not bother reporting even smallest bug. No one wants to carry a whole burden just to report a bug, even if it’s his/her job :-) . The assigners also wants to save time and not reading a whole essay for every issue. Unless that’s what you really want, just follow K.I.S.S ;-) .
(next is the improvement-request template)
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