Shibi Satheesh in Software Development, Programmers SEO Analyst • Wiinnova Software Labs Sep 17, 2020 · 3 min read · ~100

Bug Tracking Vs. Issue Tracking


Bug Tracking Vs. Issue Tracking

Bugs and errors in the software have always been a developer’s nightmare. They are responsible for huge revenue loss and time wastage by digging through error logs. As more and more features are added to a software project, the complexity of the project increases and so does the number of bugs.  


Bug vs. Issue


A bug is generally considered as an error or a mistake in the project code. The process of eliminating a software bug is to identify the bug, isolate it, and change the program code to rectify it. This is essential for the smooth functioning of the product.


An issue is usually not a problem with the program code. It could be a customer complaint requesting for an additional feature or a customer feedback about the product which may not be related to software problems.


Bug Tracking


Bug tracking is the process of entering and monitoring bugs or errors. This is usually done in the software testing phase. A bug tracking system is an application that lets you keep a track of the reported bugs in your software development project. As the size of the software project increases, the chances of having hundreds or thousands of bugs are higher. Each of these bugs needs to be monitored to ensure the smooth functioning of the software.


A bug tracking system is an application that helps you keep a track of the bugs in your software project in a database. Since complex projects have a large number of bugs, it becomes challenging to evaluate and prioritize these defects.  A good bug tracking tool which is efficiently integrated with the project is a crucial tool. It will ensure that the bugs that are identified are assigned to a particular developer. Usually these tools also have filters for the bugs identified so that lists may be created for easier understanding. Another feature that is commonly found in such tools are report generating functions with the graphs and pie charts.

A single bug can go through several stages. They include:

  • Active

  • Test

  • Verified

  • Closed

  • Reopened

Bugs are managed based on the priority as well as the seriousness of it. The seriousness or the severity of a bug would simply mean the impact of the bug on the final product and its functionality.

Without a proper bug tracking system in place, testers would be required to create a spreadsheet to log in all the bugs detected. This could be a feasible solution in the short term and for a small project, but this is not a permanent solution. Numerous hiccups can arise as a result of this. Here are a few: 


  • Not able to view bug status and progress in real-time

  • Task assignment to team members

  • Absence of a central repository

  • Inability to notify team members on status updates

  • Consolidation of statistics manually


Populating the excel sheet with bug reports collected from each team member will be an extremely cumbersome and ineffective process.


All this drives home the point that bug tracking tools are necessary to track and report bugs in real-time and also to coordinate and collaborate with the team members.



Issue Tracking


Issue tracking adds an additional layer to the team’s list of activities. This ensures that no error slips without some one’s notice. Simply put, Issue tracking is the process of logging in all the “issues” or customer complaints/tickets and tracking the progress of it until it is resolved. An issue tracking software helps customer support team and product development team to address the issues in a much more organized way, usually by way of tickets. These tickets may be assigned priority levels. 


Sometimes the issue reported by the customer has a known solution. In that case the customer support team can provide that information and close the ticket. A smart issue tracking solution should ideally be able to look up for similar tickets from past or present to find a solution. If the issue and the solution are similar to the ones already addressed, the agent can provide that information directly or in some cases the customer can be directed to a self-service page. In the case of a new issue/problem, the issue can be notified to the software development team or it can be earmarked under a new ticket which has been created to address a new issue that has affected a number of customers. 


Sometimes issue tracking software is used to keep a tab of the feature requests from customers.


Issue tracking systems offer a wide range of features. Here are a few of them:



Time Tracking


A good issue tracking system will have the ability to calculate the amount of effort that a developer will have to put in to resolve a bug. This is crucial for project managers who need to plan their next release, whether it is a bug fix or a new feature addition.


Channels


Customers report the bugs that they encounter through any channel that they prefer. It could be via a web form on the company’s page or via phone, email, chat or social media. So it is very important for bug trackers to consolidate all these conversations for the sake of the company and the product managers while empowering the customers to move from channel to channel seamlessly.



Analytics


It is imperative to have report generation for the bug tracking softwares as it simplifies the process for the project management. It makes it easier to find out whether issues have been solved successfully or whether any issues which were already resolved have resurfaced.


Customer Feedback


Issue tracking softwares should enable the customer service agents to reach out to customers automatically to find out how well they resolved an issue and what can they do better. There are tools available like Net Promoter Score Surveys and CSAT which will help agents to gather feedback.


Scalability


For small and medium businesses, issue tracking software can play a very important role in managing the available resources. They can ensure better productivity from the available team and can even help customers resolve their issues on their own using self-service content. As the company becomes bigger it might be necessary to think about other alternatives like using chatbots powered by artificial intelligence that can take on easier support requests. This will help to manage the staffing requirements. 



When teams work together to fix the issues of the customers, a lot of bottlenecks can delay the customer service process. So an advanced Process Automation can help to fix this.



Conclusion


It is crucial for an effective project management framework to have a robust and reliable tracking tool to detect and monitor bugs. It will definitely help a company to win satisfied customers by way of delivering high quality products without any bugs. With everything prioritized, the development team also finds it easier to work around a problem. So it is imperative for a company whether small or big to have a good bug or issue tracking tool in place to come up with efficient solutions without any bottlenecks within a stipulated budget.