Cross-Functional Defect Management

Cross-Functional Defect Management

Although one of our Test Manager typically own the overall defect management process and the defect management tool, a cross-functional team is generally responsible for managing the reported defects for a given project. In addition to the Test Manager, participants in the defect management (or defect triage) committee typically include development, project management, product management and other stakeholders who have an interest in the software under development.
As anomalies are discovered and entered into the defect management tool, the defect management committee should meet to determine whether each defect report represents a valid defect, and whether it should be fixed or deferred. This decision requires the defect management committee to consider the benefits, risks and costs associated with fixing or not fixing the defect. If the defect is to be fixed, the team should establish the priority of fixing the defect relative to other project tasks. The Test Manager and test team may be consulted regarding the relative importance of a defect and should provide available objective information.

A defect tracking tool should not be used as a substitute for good communication nor should defect management committee meetings be used as a substitute for effective use of a good defect tracking tool. Communication, adequate tool support, a well-defined defect lifecycle, and an engaged defect management committee are all necessary for effective and efficient defect management.