This is not a bug!

I’ve been in discussions before whether something is a bug or not numerous times. To me this can be frustrating, because I believe this change will improve the product and should be done anyway.

Sometimes they argue “it’s an improvement”. What I think they mean is that the story wasn’t described for this specific case and that they didn’t need to implement it.
Sometimes they argue “it’s a story”. Which most of the times means that it will take a lot of time. In this instant I sometimes create a story and add it to the backlog.
Sometimes they argue “this is a change request”. To me this means that the story wasn’t clear.

The goal of bugs I log is to inform people. I want to explain a developer what went wrong. I’ll provide clear steps on what I did, what I expected and what I actually got. I’ll add a screenshot and help them identify the problem.

Not only developers benefit from these tickets, I do as well. I’m testing all the time and encounter lots of problems. Keeping track of these is done in the form of tickets. There have been cases where a developer fixed something really fast, but didn’t deploy it yet. So I created a ticket anyway to remember that I needed to take a look at the fix.

I believe that ‘bugs’ are places in the application that need attention. Whether these are improvements, small stories, change request or just bugs. I feel that arguing about the form of reporting the problem will rarely actually help the product. It will need some attention anyway, the type of the ticket will not change that fact.

Of course there are always exceptions. Some improvements can be delayed or some changes are so big they become stories. But when this is the case, it’s pretty clear most of the time and the discussion will be short. If this is not so clear and the discussion becomes a tug of war, I try to stop the discussion. These discussions have little value but require lots of energy.

Have you been in situations before where you’ve been discussing the form of the issue? Do you believe that discussing the forms can be very valuable? Don’t hesitate to tell me where my judgement was clouded!

2 thoughts on “This is not a bug!

  1. Totally agree, I really get tired quite soon of those “process purists” that don’t see the obvious waste of time. Different issue though is if KPI’s are based on amount of bugs, in that case it DOES matter to carefully tag a ticket accurately.


  2. I don’t believe that bugs logged is a correct KPI. Yesterday I spent a full day looking for testdata and learning about the new features. It was still a good testing day!
    I’m happy that our management agrees with that.


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