For product development teams, managing and tracking bugs is essential for maintaining quality. Sure, sometimes it can feel like fixing one bug just leads to even more bugs than you started out with. But as a product’s feature list grows, so does the likelihood that there will be defects or issues that need to be logged and addressed. That’s why bug tracking software is a must-have.
Having a bug tracking system in place helps developers resolve problems quickly, which can lead to better quality products and increased customer satisfaction. Learn why bug tracking is so important and how you can use Wrike to develop your own efficient bug tracking system.
What is bug tracking?
Bug tracking is a way of discovering, logging, and addressing defects and errors in a product or software environment. Bugs can occur for many reasons including human error, outdated scripts, or flawed testing processes.
Bug tracking is how development teams find and resolve these defects. Bug tracking can also help teams identify problems in their workflows (like unrealistic deadlines that lead to human error).
Why is bug tracking important?
Bug tracking is important because software development does not happen in a vacuum. In an environment where new features and upgrades are being released to customers, there needs to be a way of monitoring the quality and stability of the product.
In fact, poor quality products in a “thriving” company can represent 10-15% of operations costs, according to the American Society of Quality. That means an inadequate or non-existent bug tracking system can impact an organization’s bottom line.
For example, if an organization created an app that allows users to stream live radio broadcasts, a bug that caused the platform to crash on certain Android devices would be a problem — especially if it impacted advertising efforts (who would want to advertise on a buggy app that potentially missed a huge proportion of mobile users?).
Addressing this defect would be a high-priority task that could be monitored, logged, and addressed with efficient online bug tracking software.
How does bug tracking work and what is a bug tracking system?
Bug tracking works by first making the development team aware of an issue. Next, the team lead will decide how the fix will be prioritized and which team member will be assigned to investigate and repair the issue. There may be a testing process that follows. Finally, the fix is pushed out to users and customers.
There are a few key components to consider when developing an effective bug tracking system. A bug tracking system needs to have:
- An intake process for receiving bug reports and customer tickets
- A way of prioritizing and assigning team members to work on reported issues
- Task hierarchies to have granular control over additional processes like testing
- A visual way of articulating tasks that are backlogged, in progress, and completed
These processes make it easier to identify, report, and repair defects. Before tracking and prioritizing these fixes, a bug report must be written and logged. So, what exactly goes into writing a bug report?
How to write report a bug
The process of reporting a bug may look different depending on who is reporting the issue, what the product is, and any established procedures the company has for receiving and addressing bugs.
For example, many apps have a “report a bug/problem” area which allows customers to report unusual or unstable app behavior. A development team may also direct users to an email address specifically for these reports.
A member of a development team may even discover a bug themselves, at which point they should write a report and begin the process of prioritizing and resolving the issue.
Ideally, a good bug report includes:
- A title that clearly summarizes the issue
- Details about the device and operating system
- For issues pertaining to websites or other things accessible through multiple means, including things like what internet browser you’re using is also helpful
- A brief issue summary that conveys the expected vs. actual behavior of the feature or product
- Reproduction steps (i.e. what does the engineer need to do in order to witness the bug you’re reporting?)
- Screenshots or other contextual information
When writing a bug report, it’s important to be concise, clear, and specific. Rambling or vague descriptions of your issue may delay a fix. It’s also advisable to check whether this is a known bug before submitting your own report.
Using Wrike as bug tracking software is easy, convenient, and effective
Our Wrike issue tracking capabilities don’t stop at receiving bug reports. Enable teams to track, prioritize, assign, test, and release bug fixes with more efficient workflows. Here’s how to do all that in five easy steps with Wrike.
- 1. Set up a custom request form with all the essential fields you need to process bug and issue reports. This should include fields for a brief description of the problem, operating system details, screenshots, etc.
- 2. These requests automatically become tasks that can be prioritized and assigned to teammates. Flagging the task/request as high priority based on predefined rules also helps team members know that they should investigate the problem urgently.
- 3. Wrike’s task hierarchies allow you to add subtasks to any parent task, enabling teams to easily bake in essential processes like testing.
- 4. Custom statuses and workflows allow you to label each stage of a task’s lifecycle and change its status accordingly. Taking tasks from “backlogged” to “in progress” to “testing” to “fixed” is as simple as a few clicks.
- 5. Use Wrike’s Kanban Boards to track and monitor the tasks from request to resolution.
Why use Wrike as your bug tracking software?
Having an efficient bug tracking system in place enables development teams to focus on releasing high-quality products.
Wrike easily integrates with apps like GitHub and empowers teams to track, manage, and resolve issues quickly and efficiently.
Using Wrike’s all-in-one project management platform means that organizations can manage all parts of their business from marketing and sales to IT, customer service, and development.
Discover why teams across industries and across the world choose Wrike to manage their most important work. Sign up for a free two-week trial and get started today.