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Defect Life Cycle

A Defect can be understood as a bug, fault, or an error created by developer during the development process unintentionally. It is identified as a defect by the tester later in the testing phase. Defect is nothing but an unwanted behavior of functionality in the application.

Tester when testing an application will capture the test details in a test case. Test case includes details of test case ID, expected result, actual result, severity, and comments. A Defect life cycle includes various phases such as Assigned/open, deferred, dropped/rejected, completed/fixed, reassign/reopen, closed/verified.

Let us understand what each status means in defect life cycle below.


This is the beginning point of a defect or first phase in defect life cycle. When a new defect is logged by a tester it will be in assigned or open status. Once the test case is submitted to the technical lead he/she will assign them to the developers. Here there is a chance of a defect to be deferred or rejected.


If the technical lead is going to address this defect in the next phases of development then he/she can change the status of that defect to deferred. This will be assigned to the developers in the particular phase of development.


A defect is considered as dropped/rejected if the technical lead or team opines that the logged defect is invalid. In this case the technical team will provide a valid reason for the same.


Once a defect status is addressed by a developer he/she will change the status of the defect from assigned/ open to completed/fixed.


Post fixing a defect by the developer, the tester will test the defect again to check for the accuracy. If the tester finds it to be incomplete then he/she will reassign/reopen the defect and informs the same to the technical lead/team.


This is the end point of a defect or last phase in defect life cycle. When a fixed defect is tested by tester for completeness and found no difference between expected result and actual result then the tester updates the defect status from completed/fixed to closed/verified.

To achieve proper testing and tracking of a defect the following guidelines are essential:

  • Documentation of testing i.e. test cases with complete details, clear and concise comments where and when required.
  • Team familiarization of various defect statuses involved such as assigned/open, deferred, dropped/rejected, completed/fixed, reassign/reopen, and closed/verified.
  • Team familiarity of their responsibilities and roles.

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