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  1. #1
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    Tracking Bug or Change Requests

    Several months ago, my boss asked me to transition from a programmer to a tester. We are building our testing procedures from scratch. During this process I have been reading tons of books and I attended a conference in NY a couple of months back. I've managed to come up with the start of our testing process and I'm learning to be more specific in my bug reports.

    Here is the problem. Early this morning, my boss enters my (tiny) kingdom, wanting to know if I ran across ANYTHING that could make our user acceptance tester (she is a user, not a programmer) write more useable bug reports or changes requests.

    I told him she had to be more specific about the problem or suggestions she is making. It would seem that she rambles a good bit without giving any valuable information (examples, what she wants to accomplish, why its needed). What I'm asking for is some place to direct her (or probably me) so that we can get our requests and bug reports consistent. Any suggestions?

    Thanks for the help!
    Everything in software changes...everything!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Re: Tracking Bug or Change Requests

    By far the easiest way I have seen to fix this sort of problem is this. Have the user spend a day with you as a tester. Then give her one of the defect reports that are written in the same style that hers is written. But not one of hers, since she will know the background of the defect.

    Then have her work it. After she spends the day trying to elicit more information from the submitter, she will get a whole new appreciation for the type of information that needs to be supplied.

    Walk a mile in someone's shoes......

  3. #3
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    Re: Tracking Bug or Change Requests

    If you aren't using any type of tracking tool, I would take that as your first step. There are a couple of free ones out there, notably Bugzilla as the main free one.

    When I have to revisit the bug documentation procedures, I pretty much take it as I do any other process improvement.

    I get all those concerned together (concerned meaning those it is going to affect, not so much they care about the process), and do a short workshop where we go over and document what is being done currently on one board. On another board I start soliciting what people think it is lacking and start working on a weight system of what is the most important piece of information not being captured, and what is the least. Then I work to combine the two boards' information into one drawing up the template as we go along.

    Once this meeting is compelte the new template is published and all new defects are required to use it. For a period of time (usually a couple of weeks), I review what is being submitted and kick it back to the person who entered the defect if it doesn't conform to the template. I also ask everyone to document any shortcomings or complaints they have about the new template or workflow and we get together at the end of the designated time frame (like I said, a couple of weeks) and then go over what everyone has documented on the new process, and try to address each one. Some of the items are just glossed over as you will always have the person who doesn't like change and wants it reverted, or the lazy developer who wants the reporter to document everything under the sun as well as the solution...but it has worked in the past for me over a couple of companies and quite a few years.
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results

  4. #4
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    Re: Tracking Bug or Change Requests

    Thanks for the great ideas. As I stated, I'm still working on my skills. So I'm going to have to admit that I forgot to mention that we use TeamTrack for our bug reports. It seems to work well for us. Our biggest problem is getting our testers (me and her) to be more specific and detailed in our needs and/or requests.

    Thanks again.
    Everything in software changes...everything!

  5. #5
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    Re: Tracking Bug or Change Requests

    For defects, one technique I've successfully used (and taught within several organizations) is to document exact steps to recreate the defect within the report, as the first part of the description. Usually in a simple numbered list. It may be as few as 3 steps to as many as 15 steps (depending on where the defect is located within the application). Then if the person logging the defect feels a need to add more information, s/he may do so after entering the exact steps to recreate. Usually the developer has enough info from the steps to recreate, and then is free to refer (or not) to the other info within the defect report.

    I've found it to be more challenging for enhancements, as they may be simple (change the order of the entry fields to A, B, C instead of C, A, B) or they may be complex. When enhancement requests are complex, I think it's more helpful to show the developer (or PM, depending on who authorizes the enhancement) what is being requested first, and then log the request.
    Shannon

  6. #6
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    Re: Tracking Bug or Change Requests

    One step that we took when faced with this problem was to use the UI recording tool from our automation package to keep an activity log of the individual test sessions. Replaying and examining the resultant script provides good detail on how to reproduce a defect, if (and its a big if), you do it right. For us this amounts to making sure the start environment is invariant, and avoiding certain UI actions that do not play back properly. Note that this slows the testing process down, for us probably by about a factor of 2. You could use a video camera to get many of the benefits without this hit, but you lose out on the keyboard and mouse activity.

    From an educational standpoint, IMO, Darrel's post hits the nail on the head, and should provide a very good return for a relatively small time investment.

  7. #7
    SQA Knight
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    Re: Tracking Bug or Change Requests

    cumminst

    My first idea would be to sack the UAT tester and find one that is a better communicater. As testers we need to talk in a mixed profession environment. Maybe send the person out for training of some kind. Challenge all the defects this person raises and make the person justify/explain the issue. They will get the message after a few laps of that process.

    You could get a product Like ClearQuest and make alot of the fields mandatory and get the person thinking about bug parameters, but that just punishes everyone..... making everyone hate the tool.
    Robert Tehve
    rtehve@bigpond.com

  8. #8
    Moderator swt88's Avatar
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    Re: Tracking Bug or Change Requests

    Adding to Darrel's scenario.

    Once she starts asking for more information to "work the defect". Really put her through the paces to find the history of the bug and path to recreate it. Answer ONLY the question(s) she asks - no more, no less. Don't read into the question in any way or you may give her too much information.

    As it's just you and her doing testing (as far as I can tell in your post), I'm assuming the defect you give her will have to be submitted by you. If not, remind the submitter of the above too.

    The point, make her really work to recreate the bug from very little to go by. She'll learn what pieces of information are needed and what's not. At the very least she'll gain a better understanding of why what she'd doing isn't right and that is a good starting point for discussion.
    Mary

  9. #9
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    Re: Tracking Bug or Change Requests

    While I like the idea of my UAT being removed from testing, I don't think that's going to happen because she is also our customer liaison. The problem is her lack of communication with the IS team. We know how to communicate problems amongst ourselves, but she has never had to deal with that. She lacks training, which is what I'm trying to figure out for her. Besides dropping her in the deep end (I think making her debug is excellent), I would like to find training. I'm just not quite sure where to find that for her. What kind of class could we send her to? Some kind of business communication class?
    Everything in software changes...everything!

  10. #10
    Moderator swt88's Avatar
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    Re: Tracking Bug or Change Requests

    cumminst

    Maybe a boot camp course would fit your needs. QAI offers several (one called Boot Camp for Software Testers) - though I'm not sure of your location.

    Here's the main site -> QAI Global
    Mary

 

 
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