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Incident Management In Software Testing


What is an Incident?

The occurrence of an activity or event during testing is referred to as an 'incident'.

An incident demands further investigation in order to find the root cause and take corrective action. The reason for occurrence of an incident is deviation in actual and expected results. Incidents may arise at any point of time throughout the software development life cycle.

Incident management is basically an art of identifying, investigating and taking necessary actions to prevent such an event. The idea behind incident management is to ensure that incidents are tracked from its identification stage until its correction stage, so that the final result is bug free. Roles and responsibilities should be assigned to monitor the whole process of incident management.

Objectives of an incident summary/report:

  • It is important for the developers and other team members to understand the details of a problem to be able to arrive at a solution.
  • A detailed view of an incident report gives a deep understanding to the testers so that they are able to track the quality of the system undergoing test activities efficiently.
  • Provide ideas to improve test process. For all incidents the point of its occurrence should be noted whether it is a defect in requirements, code, or in any subsequent phase. Hence test improvement process can focus on the right area.

An incident report includes facts that portray the areas where it has occurred along with few other details like -

  • Severity, scope and priority of an incident.
  • Date of issuing the report, issuing authority, approvals and status.
  • An outline of expected and actual results.
  • Describing the test environment and configuration details.
  • The phase of the software development lifecycle in which the incident was caught.
  • Description of an incident with the help of logs, screenshots etc.
  • The extent of impact an incident may pose on a stakeholder.
  • Degree of severity of an incident and set the priority as per its impact on the system.
  • Status of an incident whether it is a repeated one, deferred, open, waiting to be fixed, awaiting confirmation from the authority and so on.
  • Recommendations and approvals.
  • Due to changes made in the system as a result of an incident, note whether it causes trouble in other areas as well.
  • Note the sequence of changes made in the order of actions taken by the project team members.