What is Defect Priority?

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In the last post, we have seen, how severity can help you to find out an impact of the defect on the system. In this post, we will go through the next important classification of defect called as a Defect Priority. It is also called a bug Priority.

Priority is an urgency of the defect fixation. How important is to fix the particular defect and how early can be identified by this classification. Once the tester has identified the defect in the system, tester assigns priority to the defect. It is not the tester who always assign the priority to the defect, also sometime manager looks into it and decides its priority.

Categorization of Priority level is organization based. In my career, I have seen some organization were using 3 levels of Priority (High, Medium, and Low) and few were using 4 levels of priority (Urgent, High, Medium and Low). I will try to explain all 4 level of defect priority below.

Level 1: Urgent: If the defect is impacting business, user experience or application and manager want this fix must go in current build or in immediate next build but in the same release, then we keep that defect priority as Urgent.

Level 2: High: If the defect is impacting business, process, functionality and application but is not restricting the progress of application development. Still it is ok if we release the fix in next couple of build, but the defect with priority 2 High should go in the same release.

Level 3: Medium: Defect which is not harming the application and functionality a lot then we can say it is a medium level defect and it’s up to managers when they want to fix it. They have the flexibility to postponed the fix till next release.

Level 4: Low: This type of issues in application stays for the longer time in defect bucket. Defect with low priority means development team will fix it only if they have time for it. Otherwise, they will do it after getting some free time.

Before deciding the Defect Priority, we need to ask few questions

  • Is it impacting on the Business directly?
  • Is it visible to the user?
  • Developers are available if we take that defect for fixing?
  • Are testers available for testing the fix provided by the developer?
  • Is Time allowing us to fix this defect in this release?

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