I identified a problem with a project today where there seemed to be an ongoing misalignment between what the developers thought was left to be fixed before shipping and what the project sponsors thought needed to be done. This problem has been going on so to stop it happening in the future – here are my rules for maintaining lists of bugs.
- Bugs should be recorded as they are discovered with as much information as possible entered into the bug details.
- There should be only one list of bugs per project although it may be sliced and diced in different ways for reporeting purposes.
- The list of bugs should be stored in a central location, for example an Excel file on a network share, or if you have access to such a tool, something like Team Foundation Server/Work Item Tracking.
- Each bug should be issue a unique identifier and new bugs should check against the list of known bugs to ensure that a duplicate bug entry is not being made.