February 10, 2008

Bug Reports as To Do Lists

How do you know how many features must still be developed for your release?

How do you know which features in a release are ready for testing, and which are not?

When a new build is released into the QA environment, how do you know what's in it?

Perhaps you have Release Notes.  And perhaps these release notes tell you everything you need to know about the changes from the last build to this build.  If not, here's a simple method. 

One light-weight technique my teams have used in the past is to utilize the Bug Reporting System as a To Do List: copyrightjoestrazzere
  • When the team commits to delivering a feature within a release, an Enhancement Request is entered into the bug tracking system, describing the feature.
  • When the developer checks in the changes required to make the feature testable, the Enhancement Request is marked as FIXED
  • When the next build is available, the QAer knows he/she can now begin to test the feature and write bug reports against it as needed.
This allows everyone having access to the bug tracking system the ability to assess the progress of the develpment effort, to determine if the release is Feature Complete yet, and to understand what remains to do.