Defect Management in An Agile Environment

Last updated on April 7th, 2024 at 09:23 am

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We often see QA teams struggling with one of the most important concept in a software testing project, which is managing defects in an agile environment. As they begin using scrum for developing software and while implementing these concepts they also experience some trouble on how to manage the defects during the entire process. Scrum does not exactly tell teams how to handle defects. It is important for them to consider defects as product backlog items. Once the priority for these defects is set high, the dev team will pick it in their next sprint. However, applying this principle is a bit difficult but it is possible to perform the tasks with the help of defect management tools. 

How can Agile Methodologies help to improve Defect Handling?

Well, it is an understood reality that software applications contain defects and it is inevitable. However, realistic QA teams accept this fact and focus on finding the root cause of the defects, how long does it take to find them, and as to when they can be resolved in the process. 

In agile methodologies, QA teams focus on bug fixing as early as possible in the development process, soon after they have been discovered. There are different techniques such as Test-driven Development (TDD), Behavior Driven Development (BDD), Continuous Integration (CI), etc., and these aim at the earlier stages of the development cycle. When tracking all of these phases, it is possible to produce details of the defects that can also indicate how the agile techniques have impacted the testing process. 

What is a Product Backlog?

A product backlog lists down all the features, functions, requirements, enhancements, and fixes that require changes to be made to a product in the upcoming releases. Product backlog items are recorded in the form of a description, order, estimate, and value. It also includes themes, epics, stories, and defects and all these items define the work required in order to update a product.

Teams that perform scrums define a defect as an issue that is found after the development team has delivered a product at the end of a sprint. The team has apparently delivered an increment however, they were unable to detect an error. These kinds of defects are due to some technical issues, and an indication that the development team should increase their skills to deliver higher quality products. This is an indication that the teams need to improve their defect management process and they need defect management tools to do so. 


The main disadvantage of not using tools for managing one backlog with user stories and defects is that is difficult to maintain them. However, this issue can be resolved by using an old defect tracking system to manage the complete backlog. This could also be used when the old defect management system supports their teams in their daily scrum activities. Managing defects in an agile environment is easier and simpler. 

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