Sunday, May 12, 2013

Yet another round with defect Severity and Priority

Let me start by a quote from a developer.  “We only focus on priority.”

I have had so many conversations around severity and priority.  Rather than banter about the difference and the usages, I came up with a new concept relative to defects.

Equality to all defects!

I would like to see teams implement TDD practices and a mantra of “We found it. We will fix it!”  Imagine a world where developers, testers, and product managers all treat every defect equally.   We cannot release new code because it is defective.

In the Agile development world the best teams fix their defects as they build the product.  Testers are catching them early in the process, so why not fix them.  It is true that there is no such thing as perfect software; however, if you happen to find an imperfection should you ignore it.  The answer is no.

Do you ever hear “We are do busy to fix defects”?  Or  “that is just cosmetic, so we will fix it later”?  The statements indicate that defects are not important. 

All defects should be treated with equal importance no matter where they are found.  In fact if a customer finds a defect it should take on greater importance.  The defect should be fixed immediately in the next sprint.  If the team uses Kanban then push the defect to the top of the queue.

If we treated all defects as equals then we can throw out severity and priority.  Most importantly we testers no longer have to explain that there is truly a difference.