How to do bug tracking with Jira

2018-04-22 14:46:00

The test teams are always apprehensive about picking up JIRA for Defect Management.

The doubt is warranted. It stems from the fact that, though JIRA bug tracking tool is applicable to IT businesses it is a generic ticketing system.

Even for IT projects, JIRA’s popularity with the Development teams makes testers and QA teams uncomfortable. Despite the comfort or discomfort, the test teams have no choice but to use JIRA bug tracking tool in most companies.

Why? Simple logic- Companies do not want to invest in multiple tools. It just makes good business sense to maximize your tool utilization and not go crazy with purchasing too many licenses.

So, if a Development team is using Atlassian JIRA bug tracking tool to track its requirements, enhancements, tasks or user stories, then the test team, most probably, has to use it for bug tracking.

But, relax. JIRA’s Defect Management is just as good as any other tool. In fact, in some situations, it could even be better.

This is the tutorial that will demonstrate to you, via screenshots and everything, JIRA’s applicability to bug tracking.

#1) JIRA treats all work inside it as an Issue

So, in JIRA to create a defect would be to create an issue of the type “ Bug”.

create an issue

#2) Defect reporting needs the following information recorded for every issue:

  • Defect ID
  • Defect title
  • Defect description (steps to reproduce)
  • Environment information
  • Screenshot(attachment)
  • Severity
  • Assign it to someone
  • Status- All the statuses in the bug life cycle

All the options are available to be able to create a defect effectively.

Please note the fields highlighted in Red below:

create a defect

The two fields you are not seeing here are:

  • Defect ID
  • Status

These two fields are auto-created by JIRA. All issues will have a unique ID assigned to them by JIRA. Status of all issues is “To-Do” or “New” in JIRA by default on creating a bug.

Therefore, all the common facilities for defect reporting are available in JIRA too. In fact, more options such as labels, linking defects, estimating efforts can be used.

#3) Defect Life Cycle:

All bug life cycle statuses as in Bugzilla (or any other popular bug tracker) can be accomplished here too:

Defect Life Cycle

This will need a little bit of customizing by your JIRA admin, but it is easy to do. For those, do not want to bother with the customization, you can’t go wrong with the default set up as well.

#4) Comments and collaboration with the Dev Team

Every issue, its updates, people assignment, comments received from the Dev team – everything is tracked in JIRA under the activity log.

This allows for better visibility and collaboration with the development teams:

. Comments

#5) Linking the defect to a requirement to enable traceability

Link option in the JIRA issue fields lets you link a particular issue to another one. Let’s say if Defect 2 is a duplicate of Defect 1 you can establish that relationship.

Similarly, if a defect is blocking a requirement or is related to a requirement – you can make this aspect visible in JIRA.

Linking the defect

The resulting links will appear in the issue details page as below:

issue details page

The relationship types are self-explanatory and the usage of simple-common-everyday-language words (such as relates to, caused by, etc.) makes it super easy and intuitive for any JIRA user to use this right.

#6) Defects can be imported from a CSV file

This aids the bulk creation of issues in JIRA at once. Also, if your team is new and you don’t want them creating issues directly into the tool, you can have them report the defects in an excel sheet. Once they are reviewed and confirmed as valid, they can be imported all at once into the tool using this functionality.

Whichever way you use it, this is a big plus.

CSV file

#7) Defects can be exported into Word, XML, and printable formats

Defects exported

This supports better portability of your defect data, especially useful if you want to share your defect data with people who are non-JIRA users.

#8) Comprehensive Issue Reports:

In addition, if you need reports  go to “ Project –  reports” and generate all sorts of reports as below:

Comprehensive Issue Reports

If we have to review JIRA’s analytics in one word, it’s fantastic.

Advanced/Power users of JIRA can also create advanced search filters to generate deeper insights.

For example, if want to look at all the defects assigned to you across multiple projects (BM and AB), you could use a JQL query like below:

JQL query

So all in all, bug tracking/defect management in JIRA is very similar if not superior to dedicated bug trackers. Next time you have to work on it, don’t worry. You are in good hands.

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