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10 Tips of Writing Efficient Defect Report

In Software Testing, the defect plays an important role, you can say Software & Defects both are the two side of the coin. If the software development is in progress & client ask few changes in the requirement, so while making the changes some defects will get introduced in the code.

The defect in the code is similar like a discount offer while you purchasing some product. However there is one difference is that take discount offer is depends on you or discard the discount. This is not true for the software development; you cannot discard the unwanted defects as simply, without spending time and money.

Many software experts said that as long as there is software there are defects in the software & the software cannot be 100% defect free. As testing activity is carried out & finding the defects you have to report a defect in the defect tracking tools or excel (whichever defect management process you are following defect tracking).

Consider a scenario where tester who is very intelligent, brilliant & skillful in finding the defects but very poor in the reporting the defects, so the chances of noticing the defect is very low even if the severity & priority to fix the defect is high.

No doubt that your bug report should be a high quality document. This is the document which mainly used to communicate with tester, developer & manager.  The defect should be reported in efficient way & use of words such that the programmer or team members reading the report cannot get confused or rejected the defect the reason “Not Reproducible”.

If your bug report is effective, chances are higher that it will get fixed. So fixing a bug depends on how effectively you report it. Reporting a bug is nothing but a skill and below we are covering some tips on how to get this.


Defect Reporting

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What are the qualities of a good software defect report?

Many people’s can write a defect report but only few are able to write effective defect report. There are some differences between average defect report and good/efficient defect report. If you want to be efficient defect reporting in issuetracker then follow following simple steps:

1. It’s all in Defect title:

The defect title should always meaningful and self-descriptive enough to tell about the defect. Keep the title short & should properly convey the defect summary without further reading. Each defect should be clearly identifiable by the defect title. Use of micro-contents, it should convey the defect in fewer words.

Generally in defect management, the manager or defect triage team does not have enough time to read each and every line in the defect description, so it will really help to get triage in this meeting in speed of light.

2. Steps To Reproduce The Defect:

Software defects are very sensitive & they occur when there is a condition in a software product which does not meet a software requirement or end-user expectations. While filing the defect you should add the proper steps to reproduce the defect. Along with the steps you also add what are the pre-conditions, what was the test environment and add test data if defect occurs with a specific test data. Add proper and sequential steps and don’t miss any link in the steps. If one of the steps is missed then the defect will goes in the non-reproducible stage.


3. Be Specific:

The defect description should be to the point and do not write down the essay about the problem. The effective reporting defect is try to summarize the defect description where ever possible. Single defect should cover only single problem or similar problems and not try to cover multiple problems in the same defect. Create different defects for each unique problem.


4. Clearer Defect Less Chance Of Get Rejected:

As a good practice meaningful sentences and simple words should be used. The defect should be clear and precise. Cross check the defect content before adding the defect in the defect tracking system. The chances of rejecting the defect by developer are high if anything is not clear.


5. Stories Make Good Understanding Of Defects:

While building defects report, the tester’s story telling skill comes in the picture. While adding defects start the defect with “Consider a scenario where…” or “In a situation…” whenever necessary. You should build a scenario before adding defect which really help to make build up the importance of defect. I recommend using of the storytelling where ever required. If convey defect is easy without using story then report a defect without story.


6. Defect Tagging:

Add the references to the specifications or other related defect number while adding the defect.

E.g. User Registration Module (Version 3.5) > Page No: 127 > Point No: 13.3


7. Simplicity Is The Ultimate Sophistication:

Simple Defect description more understands the defect. Use of simple word which everyone understand easily. Don’t expect that developer use of dictionary software running on their system to get the meaning of words added in the defect.


8. Don’t take business decisions, only pass the Information:

You should be objective while defect reporting. You should add the actual result in defect & the expected result if the requirements specified in the requirement specification document. Don’t take business decisions if anything is not clear then ask for additional information to responsible person & not passing any kind of judgments by your own.


9. Severity and Priority of Defects:

Severity & Priorities plays a vital role in the defect life cycle. The Severity describes the impact of the bug. It is given by tester while adding the defect. The Priority tells about When bug should be fixed?. It can be setup by manager or lead or defect triage team while reviewing the defect. It is very easy to filter out the defects based on these values. Once this assignment is thoroughly done, then fixing & testing of defects should be started based on Severity & Priorities.


10. Avoid Simple Mistakes while Defect Reporting:

Prepare a simple checklist in your mind, basically they are more like guidelines and always check the defect with the checklist before reporting like spelling check, grammar check, and style check. Once defect draft is ready, read defect twice to check the clarity of defect. If you missed to do this then it might be possible to report a defect with a simple mistakes which creates a bad impression in front of your team about your defect reporting skill.



Many people’s write a easy while reporting a bug & few are report a defect with single liner description with efficiently communicate the exact defect with developer. Basically, Reporting of defect is an art, which help to understand the defects without wasting the developer’s time. When you are taking effort for writing simple & efficient defect reporting which will not only save the saves the team time but also the creates the good relationship with the developers.

In upcoming article I will explain about Bug report template with sample bug report.

7 comments to 10 Tips of Writing Efficient Defect Report

  • Gauri

    great article, thanks keep up the good work:)

  • Ron

    Nice article it is very useful.

  • Sreedevi

    explained in short and sweet way.

  • Jyothi

    Dear sir,
    This is jyothi, am 2012 passout, am trying on 2yrs of exp, please help me to do real time projects and real time experiance. Sir forward me some projects for practice.

    Thanks & Regards,

  • Kasvi

    Thanks. If you have more like this. Nice and clean explanation.

  • Glandu

    Excellent 10 points. I’ve got an 11th one, though : fix the perimeter limits.

    Once you have isolated a specific bug, be sure to check wether the case happens in a very specific setting, or in a broader setting. If you noticed it for an international customer, does it also happen to a national one? And, of course, once the exact perimeter is properly delimited, report accordingly :

    “for customers in the USA or Canada…..”

    Excellent reference anyways. Thanks.

  • akrishna

    in our company we are using using excel as bug report.In Bug Report(excel sheet)Is any need to maintain relationship with requirement specification document/test case document .

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