Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Incident Management

Incident logging, incident management.

Since one of the objectives of testing is to find defects, the discrepancies between actual and expected outcomes need to be logged as incidents. Incidents should be tracked from discovery and classification to correction and confirmation of the solution. In order to manage all incidents to completion, an organization should establish a process and rules for classification.

Incidents may be raised during development, review, testing or use of a software product. They may be raised for issues in code or the working system, or in any type of documentation including requirements, development documents, test documents, and user information such as “Help” or installation guides.

Incident reports have the following objectives:

o Provide developers and other parties with feedback about the problem to enable identification, isolation and correction as necessary.
o Provide test leaders a means of tracking the quality of the system under test and the progress of the testing.
o Provide ideas for test process improvement.

Details of the incident report may include:

o Date of issue, issuing organization, and author.
o Expected and actual results.
o Identification of the test item (configuration item) and environment.
o Software or system life cycle process in which the incident was observed.
o Description of the incident to enable reproduction and resolution, including logs, database
dumps or screenshots.
o Scope or degree of impact on stakeholder(s) interests.
o Severity of the impact on the system.
o Urgency/priority to fix.
o Status of the incident (e.g. open, deferred, duplicate, waiting to be fixed, fixed awaiting retest,
o Conclusions, recommendations and approvals.
o Global issues, such as other areas that may be affected by a change resulting from the
o Change history, such as the sequence of actions taken by project team members with respect
to the incident to isolate, repair, and confirm it as fixed.
o References, including the identity of the test case specification that revealed the problem.

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