Those bugs that are teensy but need to be addressed....someday, so we defer them.
Or maybe something was discovered too late for the release so it was "Deferred" for the next one. Cosmetics, and obscure or non repeatible bugs are here too.
They sometimes fall by the wayside and just sit there laughing at us. Maybe because we forgot what it meant, or the person who wrote is long gone to a greener pasture. Lots of reasons.
What do you do with them? Or what would you suggest be done with them? What does management dictate be done with them?
Especially the ones over 12 months old.
Think audit here.
For awhile we were "deferring" them only to find we had no view in our database for displaying deferred bugs....this didn't help the problem.. I am against deferring as such..problems are either opened or closed. I'm a black and white kinda gal. We do the following however:
1. Towards the end of each release we try to go through all the deferred problems and retest them to see if indeed they still are a problem. Many have been fixed accidentally and are closed this way. Others can be updated with more detail.
2. We contact Tech Support about any unreproducible problems...if no customer has experienced them and they were in an old release we will close them.
3. We are now scheduling 3 maintenance releases a year where we fix some of the small but annoying problems that were not important enough to be fixed in major releases.
In our major product we have about 280 bugs outstanding in the deferred pile. I don't know if this is good or bad...
I find that management doesn't care so much about the deferred bug reports as the testers do...its irksome when issues you raise are not addressed. We don't audit them officially but our customer does review them on a twice yearly sort of basis.
Each time a new release is in the planning stage, you need to include as part of the initial planning process a review of all "deferred" bugs. This review should result in each such bug either (1) being reclassified as a bug to be fixed in this release, (2) being closed as "overcome by events" (no longer valid/applicable), or (3) retained in "deferred" status for some future release.