Strategies for Agile Bug Tracking in Scrum

Monday, November 9, 2020

In software development agencies we’re facing the dilemma of customers wanting amazing quality software delivered in no time at the lowest possible cost. All of you working for a software firm will know exactly what I am talking about.

Rising quality requirements, shorter development periods and the ever growing amount of devices and browsers, make it increasingly difficult to ship good quality apps or websites, which is why we started building Bugbattle. In this blogpost I will show you how we handle agile bug tracking with Scrum.

The Agile Project Management Triangle

As a company applying agile project management practices, we embrace change. For our day-to-day work with customers this means that product requirements for the apps or websites we’re developing are subject to constant change. To do that approach justice, we use Scrum as our project management tool and hence iteratively define all the requirements in our product backlog containing a certain set of functionalities, which we call tickets. The whole development process is then organized in iterations, so called sprints.

While in traditional waterfall software projects the scope is rigid and the costs and time can vary, we in agile project management have turned that triangle upside down. We have a fixed timeframe and resources, but the requirements are subject to change. Constant iterations with our customers are therefore key because they define the requirements that then directly go into the product backlog. And this is exactly where the bug reporting struggle starts.

Agile Strategies to Fix Bugs

Bug reports frequently lack essential information, such as which device users are testing on, what android or iOS version the smartphone is running on or which browser they’re using. Our PM team would spend hours collecting feedback and packing all the infos together with screenshots into Jira tickets. That’s when our developers started building Bugbattle, and we immediately integrated it into our workflow.

The first key strategy of bug tracking with Scrum is that for us bug reporting is not a separate step at the end of the product lifecycle but it is rather part of every sprint. It is therefore impractical to have separate bug backlogs. Instead, for every bug we create a ticket in the respective sprint that it occurred. In this respect Bugbattle has immensely accelerated our workflow. With Bugbattle’s integration into our Jira board, all the bugs reported by a customer or user automatically generate a ticket in our Scrum board. Even better: All reports come with the essential information, such as session data, console logs and steps to reproduce. Awesome, right!

The second agile strategy when fixing bugs is to prioritize bug reports. Whenever a bug occurs, we determine how critical that bug is for the progression of our product. Bugbattle let’s us do exactly that. In our Scrum board we prioritize bugs on the basis of a traffic light system. Depending on the priority status we fix bugs immediately or deal with them at a later stage.

Quality Comes through Collaboration

Since collaboration is another key factor when working with agile project management approaches, we heavily rely on the in-app chat feature of Bugbattle to directly contact our users to for instance get further information on a report. Using a bug tracking tool that has allowed us to work collaboratively in real-time through being able to integrate it into our Jira board, assign bugs and get all the information we need, has compressed our sprints, improved our team efficiency and increased the quality of our output.

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Isabella SalzmannProject Manager
Tags:Software Testing