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How to Create a Readable and Useful Bug Report

Blayne Roselle Blayne Roselle  |  
Jun 25, 2019
Creating a bug that is both readable and provides enough detail is a must-have skill for a Quality Assurance Analyst. Not only will it help when it comes time to retest, but it also provides credibility with your development team. In the content below, I will share the best practices for creating a bug.

Bug Definition

It is common practice to differentiate between a defect and a bug. A defect is frequently defined as an error found in the Production environment. But a bug is frequently defined as an error found by a tester while testing in a “test” environment. However, in the steps below, I will use the terms interchangeably.  Simply put, a bug/defect is defined as a variance between expected and actual results.

Bug Creation

This exercise focuses on the process of bug creation regardless of what bug tracking tool is used. Different bug tools will have different fields to complete. When creating a bug, the following should be considered:

Step #1

In general, be direct, precise, and use simple language.

Step #2

In the Title section of the bug tracking tool, create a title that is easily searchable, and include the following information:
  • User Story or Product Backlog Item (PBI) number
  • Title of the User Story or PBI
  • Description of the defect

Example: PBI-12345_Create Login screen_Username field only allows 10 characters – max should be 15

Step #3

In the Steps to Reproduce section, create a summary of the bug, and include the following information:
  • Brief description of the bug
  • Environment
  • Version or build number of the environment
  • Browser (establish an agreement with your developers that if a browser is not listed, then the issue applies to all browsers being tested. However, if a browser is listed, then the issue is specific to that browser)

Example: The maximum number of characters the Username field is allowing is 10. According to Acceptance Criteria, the maximum number of characters the Username field should allow is 15. This was tested in the Dev environment (v1.0.212). (If this was browser specific, then add, “using the latest version of Chrome.”)

Step #4

List the minimum number of steps necessary to recreate the bug. Then execute the steps and verify that the listed steps recreate the bug.

Step #5

List the Expected Results. Example: “The maximum number of characters allowed in the Username field is 15”.

Step #6

List the Actual Results. Example: “The maximum number of characters allowed in the Username field is 10”.

Step #7

Assign the bug (determined by the Development team ahead of the project):
  • Business Analyst
  • Product Owner
  • Lead Developer
  • Developer assigned to the User Story

Step #8

Assign a Severity/Priority to the bug:
  • Critical – A Critical bug indicates that the defect impacts critical functionality or critical data AND there are no workarounds.
    • Example: On the Login screen, when clicking the “Login” button, the application displays a system error.
  • High – A High bug indicates that the defect impacts major functionality or major data. There may be a workaround in some instances, but the workaround may be complex or cumbersome.
    • Example: On the Login screen, Requirements state that the Name field must allow between 8 – 15 characters, but the application only allows 10 characters to be inputted.
  • Medium – A Medium bug indicates that the defect impacts minor functionality or noncritical data AND there is an easy workaround.
    • Example: On the Login screen, user must click the “Login” button twice to advance to the next screen
  • Low – A Low bug indicates that the defect does not impact functionality or data and does NOT need a workaround. 
    • Example: Misspelling/grammatical issues

Step #9

Add a screenshot (or video) to support the steps to reproduce:
bug creation report


Following the guidelines above will you help you create a bug that is both readable and provides the detail needed to easily reproduce.


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