A good bug report template will significantly impact your QA process. It ensures that all the necessary information is in the report, helps to standardise the bug-reporting process, and saves you time and effort in the long run.
In this article, we will provide you with a free bug report template that will alleviate your struggles and improve your QA process.
Which items should be in the bug reporting template?
Before we dive into the step-by-step process of creating a bug-tracking template, let’s review the essential items in the bug report. The following are the most critical elements to include in a template:
- Summary: This section should provide a brief and clear overview of the issue or bug. It should be a one-sentence statement that summarises the problem at hand.
- Description: This section should include a detailed bug description. It should be thorough and provide enough detail for the developer to understand the issue and how to reproduce it. If the bug was discovered during automated testing, you should add the test automation tool that you used and how it contributed to the discovery.
- Severity: The bug’s severity refers to its impact on the user experience. These severity levels include Blocker, Major, Minor, and Cosmetic.
- Priority: It should indicate the priority of the bug, which is usually based on its impact on the user and business. Priority levels include Critical, High, Medium, and Low.
- Steps to reproduce: Every software bug report template should include detailed steps to reproduce the bug. It includes specific inputs, expected outputs, and actual outputs. It helps the developer to replicate the issue and understand the specific conditions under which it occurs.
- Expected result: It should describe the desired result before the bug appears. This section helps the developer compare the expected result with the actual one.
- Actual result: This section should describe the actual result of the issue or bug. It helps the developer understand the current behaviour and how different it is from the expected result.
- Environment: A bug analysis report template should also include details about the environment in which the bug was found, such as browser, OS, and device. It helps identify whether the issue is specific to certain configurations.
- Attachments: These include any relevant attachments, such as screenshots, videos, or logs. They can provide additional context and help to understand the issue better.
Among the items above, it is important to be able to differentiate these two: priority and severity. When creating a bug report template, it’s important to include fields for both. These fields may not be filled out by the person filing the bug report, as they may not have a full understanding of the impact or priority of the issue. In such cases, it is up to the development team to assess and assign severity and priority levels to each reported bug.
It’s also crucial to understand the difference between severity and priority. While they are often used interchangeably, they have distinct meanings. Severity refers to the impact that a bug has on the user experience and/or business, while Priority refers to the urgency or importance of addressing the issue. A high-severity bug may not necessarily have the highest priority if other severe bugs must be addressed first.
By including severity and priority in the bug report template separately, teams can ensure that they assess and prioritise issues appropriately. This can help streamline the bug-fixing process and ensure that the most critical issues are addressed first.
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How to write a bug reporting template step-by-step
Creating a template for an organisation is a crucial step towards standardisation and streamlining operations. A template not only provides a consistent structure but also ensures that critical information is captured accurately and in a standardised format. You should know the essential items that a template should include, how to create rules and automated checks to ensure that mandatory fields are filled out, and how to integrate the template into the software used by the organisation.
Now that you know what should be included in the bug report template in software testing, let’s move on to the steps to get the maximum out of it.
1Make sure all necessary items are in the bug reporting template: As mentioned above, title, description, severity, priority, assignee, and attachments are the pieces of a bug report.
2Create rules and automated checks: To ensure that mandatory fields are filled out when submitting a bug report, you can put rules and checks in place. These checks can be automated in various ways, such as using a form validation library, customising the issue tracker software, or creating a custom script. For example, a rule can be put in place to prevent the submission of an issue without a title, description, or severity rating.
3Introduce the template into the software: Working in a QA tool, you can usually make a template with all the fields your bug report template requires. If you use a general-purpose issue tracker that lacks flexibility, consider connecting a third-party solution to integrate it with your dev effort. Good documentation and regular feedback on bug report tickets will help you adopt a template faster as well.
To improve collaboration between QA professionals and developers, you might also consider using issue tracking software. Good bug-tracking software will help you create customisable bug reports and make the entire software development process smoother. It will save you time and improve efficiency to achieve the best results.
Example of a bug reporting template
Here is a sample of a bug-reporting template you can copy and use for your own QA process:
Brief description of the bug
A detailed description of the issue.
Critical, high, medium, or low.
Blocker, major, minor, or cosmetic.
- Steps to reproduce
Detailed steps to reproduce the bug, specific inputs, and expected and actual outputs.
- Expected result
Description of the expected result.
- Actual result
Description of the actual result of the bug or the issue.
Details of the environment in which the bug was found, such as browser, OS, and device.
- Additional elements
Due date, tester name, and developer name.
"Reminds me of the awesome bug report I saw once: 'Everything is broken. Steps to reproduce: do anything. Expected result: it should work'".
A well-written bug-reporting template can become an essential component of an effective QA process. Using the standardised format, you can ensure you capture all relevant information, which will help the development team track and resolve the issues efficiently. When designing your template, be sure to include all the necessary elements mentioned in this article. Additionally, you can consider customising your template to suit your team’s specific needs and requirements.
The ultimate goal of a bug report template in software testing is to ensure better communication between QA and dev teams, find the issues in time and resolve them quickly to deliver a high-quality end product. So why not take a giant step toward streamlining your QA processes?
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