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A Model for Defect Life Cycle

A Model for Defect Life Cycle

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An article describing the life cycle of defects found during software testing
An article describing the life cycle of defects found during software testing

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Published by: TestingExcellence.com on Dec 02, 2008
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A Model for Defect Life Cycle
A Model for Defect LifeCycle
By Amir Ghahrai
December 2007
Initially posted on Testing Excellence
Introduction
Finding defects and reporting defects are the main activities of the testing. In thisarticle I endeavor to explain the Software Defect Lifecycle and the Defect Process ingeneral. I will list all the activities for each stage of the process that are commonlyperformed in a typical software testing environment.Also, in this article, I have assumed that the development team have developed asoftware application and is at least to a stage that is ready for testing.The process is not leaning to any particular development model as I believe thisgeneric process is suitable for any development model. In other words, the processin itself is generic for all development models; however, the amount of activities,required inputs and produced outputs will depend on the type and complexity of theapplication, organization’s view on testing and the structure of the project.
Defect Lifecycle
 
A Model for Defect Life Cycle
Generally speaking, the defect life cycle is made up of four stages. (See Figure 1,below).Stage 1, defects are found and reported.Stage 2, defects are reviewed and delegated.Stage 3, defects are debugged and removed.Stage 4, removed defects are confirmed.
Figure 1: Showing the four stages of the defect lifecycle indicated by dark curved arrows andthe activities performed at each stage (rectangles on the arrow). The inner circle indicates thestatus of the defect at each stage of the defect lifecycle.N.B. This model is only applicable to source code errors (that are decided to get fixed) andnot document errors.
Stage 1: Defects are found and reported by the testing team(presumably)
Software released to testing
After the development team have developed the software and is ready for testing, thesoftware is then released to the testing team. Items released to testing generallyinclude Software Requirement Specification (SRS), Software Design Specification(SDS), application source code (for code walkthroughs and inspections), executableapplication and any third party libraries that may be required to make the applicationwork.Testing team prepare and setup the testing environment; install the application andany required third party libraries.
Testing team start testing
Once the application is installed, members of the testing team will start testing the
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A Model for Defect Life Cycle
application based on the Test Procedures. The activities may include FunctionalTesting, Non-Functional Testing, Performance Testing, etc.
Defects may be found
During testing testers may find defects either in the application or in the documentse.g. test procedure.If a defect is found, either in the application (source code) or in the document, adefect report form is filled and passed on to the test team lead or test manager for review. (There is a detailed explanation on what to include in the defect form in thisarticle: Defect Reporting).
Defect Status: Open and Not Reviewed
Stage 2: Defects are reviewed and delegated
Defects get reviewed first by test team lead for any obvious mistakes by the testers,such as missing information on the defect form (see Defect Reporting) and thenreported to software development manager for further review.A meeting is scheduled which includes members of the development team andtesting team to discuss the validity, severity and priority of the defects.At this stage, defects are categorized into three different states:Not a defectDefect will be fixedDefect won’t be fixed in this release
Defect Status: Reviewed & Assigned
Stage 3: Defects are debugged and removed
Fixing defects
After the meeting and agreed actions, the software development manager delegatesdefects to different developers in the team.For defects that are not going to be fixed in the current version of the software, animpact analysis must be performed to identify any potential failures that may occur asa result of the existing defects in the system.Developers will analyse the source code to identify the root cause and ultimatelyremove the defect.
Defect Status: Being Debugged
Stage 4: Removed defects are confirmed
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