Recording the defects identified at each stage of the test process is an integral part of a successful life cycle testing approach. The purpose of this activity is to create a complete record of the discrepancies identified during testing. The information captured is used in multiple ways throughout the project, and forms the basis for quality measurement.
A defect can be defined in one of two ways. From the producer’s viewpoint, a defect is a deviation from specifications, whether missing, wrong, or extra. From the Customer’s viewpoint, a defect is anything that causes customer dissatisfaction, whether in the requirements or not. It is critical that defects identified at each stage of the life cycle be tracked to resolution.
Most project teams use some type of tool to support the defect tracking process. This tool could be as simple as a white board or a table created and maintained in a word processor, or one of the more robust tools available today on the market.
Tools marketed for this purpose usually come with a number of customizable fields for tracking project specific data in addition to the basics. They also provide advanced features such as standard and ad-hoc reporting, e-mail notification to developers or testers when a problem is assigned to them, and graphing capabilities.