Software Testing | Understanding Severity & Priority

| By Webner

While testing the Web applications, Software and Projects, sometimes we cannot perform the full test scenarios and bug fixes due to shortage of time or due to project running out of time. A lot of bugs and errors could be left behind due to shortage of time. In this case the biggest question for the Tester or QA Engineer is, which issue has to be resolved first and what could be left behind for next development cycle.

To deal with this type of situation we have terms Severity and Priority. These terms are very meaningful while testing and bug reporting on the projects.

Coming to Severity:- Severity can be defined as the how much is the effect of defect on functional part of the application, (For example: If you search something on google and you have navigated 30 pages of results, but on page 31 functionality doesn’t work in this case we can say that Severity is low, because clicking on 31st page is very rare. If the you are not getting results on the 1st or 2nd page then the Severity become high.)

→ Severity is categorized into Four types.
Blocker: These are the bugs and errors which do not allow user to operate the application, Like facebook login not working.
Critical: These are the bugs and errors which do not meet the user’s functional requirements.
Minor: These are the bugs which are related to GUI display, Text, Content changes, These type of bugs do not affect the functionality so Severity is low or minor in this case.
Trivial: These are the bugs which can be skipped to the next development build.

Coming to Priority:- We all are familiar with the word Priority in our day to day life. Priority means the fact or condition of being regarded or treated as more important than others, But in testing, it is defined as how much important is to resolve the bug which occurred while testing the application. The Higher the priority the sooner the defect should be resolved. Priority of defects is decided in consultation with the manager/client.

→ Priority is categorized into three types.
Low: These are the bugs which are not important and can be resolved later.
Medium: These are the bugs which are important but can be fixed after Higher priority bugs.
High: These are the bugs and errors which have to be resolved immediately.

A Software System can have following factors:-
High Priority and High Severity.
High Priority and Low Severity.
High Severity and Low Priority.
Low Priority and Low Severity.

High Priority and High Severity: Error occurs in the functionality due to which users are not able to use the application. For example: System crashes at the login page.
High Priority and Low Severity: logo, color, spelling and content mistakes.
High Severity and Low Priority: Function or part of an application not working, which are rarely used.
Low Priority and Low Severity: Gui Mistakes like button alignments and etc.

Test Engineer and QA Engineer can use these terms in their projects, which helps in faster and better development in shorter time.

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