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  • Writer's pictureIan Wells

Why to upgrade your bug tracking system

Here is a situation I have experienced many times.

The software team is so busy writing code and testing in order to deliver critical software to customers, there is no capability  to replace outdated bug and QA systems.

As mundane as a bug and QA system may seem, in fact,  a bug tracking system is the critical  Information System for software development. A bug tracking system should be providing the one source of truth of software release status and product quality.

If it is not your one source of truth, then its

likely your team is  spending unnecessary time reconciling disparate views of software quality, asking many people for release status, holding tedious  bug scrub meetings, or discussing  with others what a particular bug really means.

Such reconciliations nibble away of everyone's time. They increase  the number of disruptions and  lower your velocity.

As a manager, when and how do you decide to rid yourself of an outdated bug tracking system and replace it with a more efficient one?

First, look at your pros and cons, then look at your options.

Pro: Reasons in favour of upgrading bug tracking:

For dev team, have a bug & task process that better matches how you actually work.For QA team, deliver more accurate and standardized quality metricsFor Dev manager, view improved quality reports, to aid better predictions of release dates & qualityFor wider management team, more flexible ways of reporting of system status, without impacting the dev team.For CFO, reduce costs of maintaining the QA tools. Simpler licensing. Control costsFor dev teams, obtain  a common view of the bug status, meaning  less time in meetings discussing bugsFor CTO, have a set of tools that are easily configurable continually scale out as business needs grow.

Con: Now is not the right time

You have legitimate concerns - upgrading a bug tracking and QA systems will affect the day to day workflow of every single developer and tester. It could ruin productivity before it helps it! It could delay scheduled releases.

It will take someone on your team's time to design and implement the transition.If the new system does not work flawlessly on the first moment, your whole team's productivity will be affected, until problems are fixed.Moreover all the training invested in designing and implementing a transition is throwaway time, never to be reused.

Next instalments on this blog will outline 3 options to upgrade:

When your team was small, if you started right, your bug tracking system will meet your needs already.Update it yourselfHire a consultant to manage the upgrade.

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