Bug Process


Note:  Click the process for a larger version.

When a bug is first created it is assigned a nominal story point value of 1.  This value is intended to cover the investigation phase of the bug only (or a fix if it’s found to be a small issue).  Having a story point value against the bug  (even if it only covers investigation initially) means that we can allocate each bug into a sprint along with other backlog items and gives a window of time to investigate the problem.
The outcome of this stage should be either:
  1. Bug resolved; should only occur with small bugs where the issue was found, fixed and re-tested within the allocated tasked hours
  2. Further investigation required; in which case the story-point value of the bug should be increased to indicate that the problem is very complex and was not able to even be progressed during the first pass through the stage
  3. Investigation completed; where the problem has been documented within the bug item and a number of tasks (with associated hours assigned) have been created which detail how to resolve the problem
Bugs which have not progressed (e.g. outcome 2 in the list above) should be re-story-pointed and added back into the main backlog to progress through stage 1 again at a later date.  Obviously bugs which have been resolved (outcome 1) can be marked as such and bugs which have been investigated and tasked (outcome 3) can be added back into the product backlog for assigning to a future sprint.
Note:  The important point to note about this phase is that it should be considered time-boxed based on what time is allocated to the tasks created for the bug at sprint planning – based on the default story point value and current velocity, this should be roughly around 3 hours total.
Stage 2 – Fixing

Note:  Click the process for a larger version.
Bugs which enter this stage should have already been through the first stage of investigation at least once and should have appropriate tasks against them which detail what needs to happen to resolve the problem.
Since each bug should have been through the first stage of analysis, we should know enough at this stage to be confident in being able to both apply a fix and complete the associated tasks in the allocated sprint.