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Key Benefits of an Online Defect Tracking System

For most organizations that conduct extensive software testing activities, having a good online bug or defect tracking system is mandatory; it is simply not efficient or even possible to track a large amount of defects manually without the help of a good software tool.  A typical tracking system allows testers to report defects via methods such as email, online forms, forum posts, or ticket submittals.  Most online tracking software will automatically assign a code or number to each reported bug to make the tracking activity easier.

Automating the defect tracking process in this manner has several important benefits.  The first and perhaps most obvious benefit is that it greatly eases the management and prioritization of the bug fixing process.  Employees can log into the defect tracking system’s user interface and easily prioritize bugs based on the degree to which each one negatively impacts the user experience, and allocate resources accordingly.  This in turn makes the management of the entire bug tracking process more effective and efficient. 

Another benefit is that a system like this will help promote open communication between all stakeholders.  Because an effective online tracking system offers centralized control, a single point of contact can be used to manage the communication and collaboration aspect of the process.  For example, someone could be assigned to manage the tracking system and send email alerts to a distribution list whenever there is a change or status update on the project.   This typically results in enhanced organizational learning, better accountability, improved documentation, and over time, fewer product defects in general. 

The bottom line is that if your company is not semi-automating the defect tracking process via an online tool, then your company’s software testing activities are less efficient than they could be even if your testers follow ISTQB Foundation or ISTQB Advanced best practices.  Software applications cost so much money to develop and test, that it simply makes no sense to not invest in a decent online defect tracking solution.

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