How to Reduce Duplicate Bug Reporting by 75%

Reducing the pester of duplications in bug reporting.

Both software Developers and Testers need to be able to clearly identify any ‘Bug’, via the ‘Title’ used for the ‘Bug Report’.

Efficiency and Flexible Random Naming

By design, development tools like; SQL, PHP, FileMaker give development teams the freedom to randomly name; tables, fields, scripts, and display layouts. Likewise, testing teams have the same freedom creating titles for ‘Bug Reports’.

But, freedom comes at a price. In this case, the freedom to randomly name elements can result in less efficiency. However, we can increase efficiency and organization through well structured, ‘Unique Naming’. Let’s examine common tasks.

Software Testers:

  1. FIND: a ‘Bug’;
  2. SEARCH: previously reported bugs, to verify that their ‘Bug’ is ‘NEW’;
  3. REPORT: a ‘New Bug’, using a ‘Title’ that is unique.

Software Developers:

  1. REVIEW: Reported ‘Bugs’;
  2. SEARCH: Reported bugs to ‘Find’ specific ‘Bug Reports’

Our goal is to retrieve ‘High-Quality Search Results’, directly resulting in greater efficiency.

Poor Quality ‘Bug Titles’ and Duplicates

‘High-Quality Search Results’ are an essential part of ‘Bug Reporting’. ‘Poorly Conceived’ or ‘Duplicate’ bug reports result in less efficiency, translate to lost hours for Developers and Testers, and ultimately produce a lower ROI for the project investors.

Four distinct elements govern ‘Bug Title’ creation:

  1. Naming Formula
  2. Reporting Language
  3. Combination ‘Bug’ Titles
  4. Vocabulary

The first two elements are often well considered and are efficiently managed for most projects. Items No. 3 and 4 are where things can be significantly improved for many projects. So let’s go by the numbers, just to get things into proper focus:

No. 1: Naming Formula:

Resolved simply with a stated policy. For example, many testing companies require their Testers to report using a ‘Formula’ like:

501 – iOS 9 – Menu Top – Function – Home button does not work.

502 – iOS 9 – Function – Menu Bottom – Contact button does not work.

503 – Function – Menu Bottom – Contact button does not work. – iOS 9

These examples quickly tell us important things about the bug. They are also search efficient, for example, a search for; Menu’ and ‘Button’ would list all of the above when a Tester is reporting a ‘Bug’; or a Developer is searching for all the broken ‘Menu Button’ bugs.

No. 2: Reporting Language:

Again, resolved with a stated policy. That said, for many projects the reporting language of choice is ‘English’.

No. 3: Combination ‘Bug’ Titles

Often, a ‘Bug’ may require a combination title, as when the issue involves more than a simple button or tool, for example:

504 – Function – Hotel Booking Page – Calendar / Date Picker fails to hide after entry. – iOS 9

In this case, the problem is with the ‘Calendar’ but more specifically with the ‘Date Picker’ function of the ‘Calendar’.

This problem could be reported as:

  1. a) Calendar fails to hide after entry; or
  2. b) Date Picker fails to hide after entry.

Both would seem to be right, but only the combination title (i.e. Bug Title #504 above) should be used to ensure it is found for either search; ‘Calendar’ or ‘Date Picker’.

The solution, a ‘Managed Naming Formula’.

No. 4: Vocabulary

It is common to have Testers from multiple countries, with many writing in English as a second language (i.e. ESL), resulting in an extreme diversity of vocabulary used. This diversity results in completely different approaches to naming ‘Bug Titles’, quickly increasing the potential for poor quality ‘Titles’.

Again, the solution is a ‘Managed Naming Formula’.

 

The “Oh Happy Day” Solution “A Lexicon”

While we can continue to assume the norm, that Testers have a diversity of vocabulary and style of expression, we can create a special ‘Managed Vocabulary’ that is used for a target software project.

This is what is known as a “Lexicon”, and it is our ‘Happy Day Solution’.

At the onset of a new development project, a ‘Lexicon’ becomes the ‘Official’ vocabulary used by the project for naming. Now, the ‘Lexicon’ provides the guide for well structured, ‘Unique Titles’ for naming tables, fields, scripts, layouts and bug reports. Applying this strategy will compound efficiency in a positive way.

Creating a Lexicon

Now that we have a solution that will increase efficiency in software development, to create a ‘Lexicon’ for your project, I recommend using a ‘Project Wiki’ format for your ‘Lexicon’. This way, missing items can be added by any authorized party to the project at any time.

Conclusion

As with most solutions in the software development world, planning and management are the keys to a highly efficient development process. My proposed solution simply puts the project manager in control.

Best wishes with your software project or testing!

 

LogiGear Corporation
LogiGear Corporation provides global solutions for software testing, and offers public and corporate software testing training programs worldwide through LogiGear University. LogiGear is a leader in the integration of test automation, offshore resources and US project management for fast, cost-effective results. Since 1994, LogiGear has worked with Fortune 500 companies to early-stage start-ups in, creating unique solutions to meet their clients’ needs. With facilities in the US and Viet Nam, LogiGear helps companies double their test coverage and improve software quality while reducing testing time and cutting costs.

The Related Post

Introduction Keyword-driven methodologies like Action Based Testing (ABT) are usually considered to be an Automation technique. They are commonly positioned as an advanced and practical alternative to other techniques like to “record & playback” or “scripting”.
PWAs have the ability to transform the way people experience the web. There are a few things we can agree we have seen happen. The first being that we figured out the digital market from an application type perspective. Secondly, we have seen the rise of mobile, and lastly, the incredible transformation of web to ...
David S. Janzen – Associate Professor of Computer Science Department California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo – homepage LogiGear: How did you get into software testing and what do you find interesting about it? Professor Janzen: The thing I enjoy most about computing is creating something that helps people. Since my first real job ...
This article first appeared in BETTER SOFTWARE, May/June 2005. Executives and managers, get your performance testing teams out of the pit and ahead of the pack Introduction As an activity, performance testing is widely misunderstood, particularly by executives and managers. This misunderstanding can cause a variety of difficulties-including outright project failure. This article details the ...
Dr. Cem Kaner – Director, Center for Software Testing Education & Research, Florida Institute of Technology PC World Vietnam: What did you think of VISTACON 2010? Dr. Kaner: I am very impressed that the event was very professionally organized and happy to meet my old colleagues to share and exchange more about our area of ...
Trying to understand why fails, errors, or warnings occur in your automated tests can be quite frustrating. TestArchitect relieves this pain.  Debugging blindly can be tedious work—especially when your test tool does most of its work through the user interface (UI). Moreover, bugs can sometimes be hard to replicate when single-stepping through a test procedure. ...
As I write this article I am sitting at a table at StarEast, one of the major testing conferences. As you can expect from a testing conference, a lot of talk and discussion is about bugs and how to find them. What I have noticed in some of these discussions, however, is a lack of ...
Internet-based per-use service models are turning things upside down in the software development industry, prompting rapid expansion in the development of some products and measurable reduction in others. (Gartner, August 2008) This global transition toward computing “in the Cloud” introduces a whole new level of challenge when it comes to software testing.
Are you looking for the best books on software testing methods? Here are 4 books that should be on your reading list! The Way of the Web Tester: A Beginner’s Guide to Automating Tests By Jonathan Rasmusson Whether you’re a traditional software tester, a developer, or a team lead, this is the book for you! It ...
In today’s mobile-first world, a good app is important, meaning an effective Mobile Testing strategy is  essential.  
People who follow me on twitter or via my blog might be aware that I have a wide range of interests in areas outside my normal testing job. I like to research and learn different things, especially psychology and see if it may benefit and improve my skills and approaches during my normal testing job. ...
Introduction Software Testing 3.0 is a strategic end-to-end framework for change based upon a strategy to drive testing activities, tool selection, and people development that finally delivers on the promise of software testing. For more details on the evolution of software testing and Software Testing 3.0 see: Software Testing 3.0: Delivering on the Promise of ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay in the loop with the lastest
software testing news

Subscribe