Software Testing Models

What is difference between Priority and Severity?

In the market various Software management/bug tracking system are available. These powerful tools allow you to enter the important information of bug which helps to convey the exact steps of the bug & which provide the complete information to team. So developer can get an exact idea of its ‘Severity’. In the Bug Tracking the terms “Priority” and “Severity” are used to share the importance of a bug among the team and to fix it accordingly.

Priority means how fast it has to be fixed. Normally talking about this, “High Severity” bug are marked as “High Priority” bugs & it’s should be resolved as early as possible, but this case is not all the time. There can be different exceptions to this rule and depending on the nature of the application it can be change from company to company. Let’s take a example to the Priority: e.g. To deal with all issues present what issues to be consider on first based on its urgency or importance on application under test. Adding this field in while reporting bug will help analyzing the Bug Report.

As this is common question ask in the “Software Testing Interview Questions”.

Difference between Priority and Severity

Priority:
  • Priority means how fast it has to be fixed.
  • Priority is related to scheduling to resolve the problem.
  • Severity means how severe it is affecting the functionality.
  • Is largely related to Business or Marketing aspect. It is a pointer towards the importance of the bug.
  • The priority status is set based on the customer requirements.
  • Is related to technical aspect of the product. It reflects on how bad the bug is for the system.
  • Priority means how urgently the issue can be fixed.
  • Product manager is to decide the Priority to fix a bug.
  • Based on ‘Project Priorities the product fixes are done.
  • The Priority status is set by the tester to the developer mentioning the time frame to fix a defect. If High priority is mentioned then the developer has to fix it at the earliest.
Severity:
  • It is totally related to the quality standard or devotion to standard.
  • Severity means how severe it is affecting the functionality.
  • Severity is associated with standards.
  • The severity type is defined by the tester based on the written test cases and functionality.
  • Is related to technical aspect of the product. It reflects on how bad the bug is for the system.
  • It is totally related to the quality standard or devotion to standard.
  • Severity means how big functionality is affecting of the product.
  • The Test Engineer can decide the severity level of the bug.
  • Based on Bug Severity the product fixes are done.
  • Also we can say The Severity status is used to explain how badly the deviation is affecting the build.

The severity is assigned by tester. Based on seriousness of the bug severity is assigned to defect. It can be divided into four categories:

Show Stopper: 4 – Cannot able to test application further.
Major Defect: 3 – Major functionality not working but able to test application.
Minor Defect: 2 –Bug in Functionality but in the sub module or one under the other module.
Cosmetic: 1 – Issues in location of the object or the look and feel issue.

Let discuss few examples of Priority & Severity from High to Low:

High Priority & High Severity:
  1. All show stopper bugs would be added under this category (I mean to say tester should log Severity as High, to set up Priority as High is Project manager’s call), means bug due to which tester is not able to continue with the Software Testing, Blocker Bugs.
  2. Let’s take an example of High Priority & High Severity, Upon login to system “Run time error” displayed on the page, so due to which tester is not able to proceed the testing further.
High Priority & Low Severity:
  1. On the home page of the company’s web site spelling mistake in the name of the company is surely a High Priority issue. In terms of functionality it is not breaking anything so we can mark as Low Severity, but making bad impact on the reputation of company site. So it highest priority to fix this.
Low Priority & High Severity:
  1. The download Quarterly statement is not generating correctly from the website & user is already entered in quarter in last month. So we can say such bugs as High Severity, this is bugs occurring while generating quarterly report. We have time to fix the bug as report is generated at the end of the quarter so priority to fix the bug is Low.
  2. System is crashing in the one of the corner scenario, it is impacting major functionality of system so the Severity of the defect is high but as it is corner scenario so many of the user not seeing this page we can mark it as Low Priority by project manager since many other important bugs are likely to fix before doing high priority bugs because high priority bugs are can be visible to client or end user first.
Low Priority & Low Severity:
  1. Spelling mistake in the confirmation error message like “You have registered success” instead of successfully, success is written.
  2. Developer is missed remove cryptic debug information shortcut key which is used developer while developing he application, if you pressing the key combination LEFT_ALT+LEFT_CTRL+RIGHT_CTRL+RIGHT_ALT+F5+F10 for 1 mins (funny na).

It is where rare scenario where user can hold the key for such long period of time so bug should be marked as low priority.

Over to you

You must be faced some challenges in implementing on Priority and Severity. Please do not hesitate to put your queries in comments below. I’ll make sure to get those addressed immediately.

28 comments to What is difference between Priority and Severity?

  • sameer

    To beginner testing guys this is simple & clean article on difference between Priority and Severity. fantastic job!!

  • Zoya

    Thank u, good post! =) very nice article and idea

  • sangeetha Kumar

    Hi all ,
    Please tell me which tool is best for performance testing. Also that tool should support higher versions of IE. Also give me contact details.

  • Manav

    please send me the software tool to test the web application

  • Gopi

    lengthy and in depth article but full of useful information

  • Munikrishna

    Hi
    I am looking to do testing on some sample project. Could you refer me some sites, where I could find some Projects for testing

  • Mahesh Kalekar

    Its really help full article. excellent and all things are understandable …..

  • Ankit Jain

    It Really Helps…. thanks

  • Hemant

    I have recently started a site, the info you provide on this web site has helped me tremendously. Thanks for all of your time & work.

  • Sanjay Kumar

    Very Very useful , looking forward for the next articles from u:)

  • sree

    Hello sir,
    could you please send me an email that how do we explain about our project in software testing. if we take any gmail application, inbox, sent and logout. ex: how do we start explain about this to an intrviewer that what we did etc can u please send any real time project with one example to my email id.
    Thanks

  • Varsha

    Good article….This was asked me for interview and i was not able to explain well… but you cleared the concept..thank you!

  • venkat

    could you please send me an email that how do we explain about our project in software testing. if we take any gmail application, inbox, sent and logout. ex: how do we start explain about this to an intrviewer that what we did etc can u please send any real time project with one example to my email id.
    Thanks

  • suresh

    Hello sir,
    could you please send me an email that how do we explain about our project in software testing. if we take any gmail application, inbox, sent and logout. ex: how do we start explain about this to an intrviewer that what we did etc can u please send any real time project with one example to my email id.
    Thanks

  • Alam

    Hi,
    Superb tutorial. simple explaination , hats off

  • Mallikarjun

    Nice Article. Good way of demonstration and easily understanding the sub.

  • Peterson

    very handy article to get actual difference between Priority and Severity

  • Rakesh

    If Gmail logo is not correct ,then what is priority and severity…

  • priya

    Hello, This is a great website for Learning testing. I found it sooo usefull to understand few concepts. It would be great if you are able to explain an simple scenario if asked in the interview about the real time project we did. I dont have any exp in testing but learning and planning to apply for jobs. Thanks in advance..

  • jayasri

    if alert messages are not showing? what is the priority?
    maximum and minimum field length

  • priya

    thanks for this article .this is very helpful in freshers

  • Mukesh

    @Jayasri -It is high priority and high severity.

  • Revathi

    Useful information for testers.

  • manasa

    Really very good post…..it’s deleted all my confusion with Priority and Severity & good and easy examples for each one

    Thanks allot
    Keep on posting such useful things)

  • Rajesh

    1.Assume that there is which correctly when entered valid credentials but, it is crashed when invalid credentials are entered. So what is the severity and priority. ?

    2.In the same way. An application is working properly but, out of 10, two times it is not working. What is the severity & priority?

  • Priyanka

    Superb article on difference between Priority and Severity.

    Thanks,
    Priyanka

  • AK Dinesh Kumar

    Hi friend… i need answer for following question..please tell the priority and severity level for all..ie(high low )

    1. Facebook likes count not getting updated ,
    2. People you may know” feature showing my friend also
    3. The count of mutual friends(common friends) between me and my friend is showing different
    4. when i open my friend profile ,instead of friends button.. there s add friend button s visible
    5. when i upload a new profile pic .. it s not getting updated in chat box
    6. In chat “Turn off” feature is working for me..but in my friend profile it s showing i m online..
    7. The shared content in closed group is visible to all other who are not in group
    8. the count of group is not getting updated.
    9. invite by email in closed group feature is not working
    10. i can able to change the profile name daily
    11. when i place the mouse (tool tip) in friends name tool tip information is not showing….. reply asap

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