The process of identifying, testing, and resolving bugs are relatively straightforward when you’re working on a small-scale project. However, things can get complicated pretty fast as you scale up your software product and your team grows larger. Your backlog of bugs can grow pretty fast, eating into crucial development time and making it difficult for the team to work on the next iteration of the software product. Adopting an agile mindset can be crucial in situations like this.
Since agile is focused on ensuring that users get value as quickly as possible, leveraging agile principles for bug tracking can help you keep up with growing product quality requirements while shortening development time. Adopting an agile mindset in bug tracking can help your team move quickly, discover flaws faster, and fix them before they become major issues.
What is Agile Issue Tracking?
Adopting agile principles is sure to improve the efficiency of your bug tracking process. The agile methodology centres itself around making quick but calculated decisions during the product development lifecycle.
In the traditional approach to bug tracking, generating bug reports is typically a separate step at the end of the product life cycle. The agile approach incorporates bug reporting into each product sprint to accelerate workflow. This ensures that all bug reports come with all the information needed for quick and efficient resolution.
The agile methodology is not just about delivering products faster but delivering quality products faster. Efficient bug tracking in an agile environment requires you to create feedback channels, and keep stakeholders (developers, designers, testers, and project managers) in the loop at all times without slowing the pace of issue resolution. Agile bug tracking also involves taking inputs from users to ensure that issues are prioritized according to what matters most to them.
4 Crucial Agile Issue Tracking Best Practices
When adopting agile for issue tracking, it has been discovered that instead of following set practices or methodologies, simply understanding the core principles and adopting them is better. So how exactly can you adapt your agile practices for efficient bug tracking, the following are 4 crucial best practices that can help.
Set time aside for fixing issues in sprints
The traditional approach to fixing product bugs is to wait till the end of the product lifecycle to catch bugs through QA processes and tests. The problem with this approach is that it relies heavily on end-users reporting the problem they encounter with using your application. This means the majority of issues will go unreported. Also, users would still be exposed to a terrible user experience which will affect the perception of your product and may lead to churn and revenue loss. A much better approach is to find and fix errors before users notice.
To do this, products have to undergo rigorous testing before final deployment. Leveraging the agile principle of dividing projects into sprints can be helpful in cases like this. By setting time aside within each sprint to find errors and fix them immediately, the development team can resolve issues effectively instead of waiting for them to be discovered by the end-user.
Ensure all stakeholders comprehend bugs
In the traditional bug tracking approach, bugs that are caught by the testing team are assigned to the developer by the manager. The developer fixes the bugs and returns them to the tester to confirm their status. The bugs are closed when the tester confirms that they have been resolved.
The agile approach follows this bug tracking process as well, but there is more emphasis on communication and keeping the information in context for all the stakeholders involved. The goal is to keep testers, designers, developers, and managers in the loop which ensures that issue resolution moves along quickly.
Using a visual issue tracking system that ensures that everyone (including non-technical stakeholders) has access to the vital background communication needed to keep issues in context is vital in this approach.
Prioritize your bugs the right way
Due to its flexibility, one of the biggest issues with the agile approach is the possibility of ending up with a backlog of unresolved reported bugs. This problem is likely to become even more pronounced as a project scales. This is why prioritization is one of the most crucial practices necessary for iterating issues quickly and preserving quality.
To stay on top of errors within your agile workflow, teams must learn to prioritize issues based on their impact on the end-users. At the same time, bugs should be prioritized based on their impact on your bug tracking system in terms of time and resources that will be allocated to resolving them.
Improve communication between support and dev teams
Despite your best efforts, some errors may still slip through the cracks and make their way into your final product to the end-users. How these errors are handled is a critical part of your bug tracking process. Without effective communications from the support team, developers will have a hard time replicating such issues and fixing them as quickly as possible.
Trying to tweak product code to fix issues without vital information can inadvertently introduce more errors. Effective communication between the dev and support teams will ensure that they get all the information needed to help customers quickly and effortlessly.
These agile practices can make your product development process faster and better. However, the effectiveness of your bug handling process within the agile framework is hinged on the bug tracking software you use. Managing bugs properly and fixing them efficiently does not have to be a herculean task. By using an issue tracking software like Kissflow Workflow, you get to save valuable development time and resources while focusing on what matters the most.
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