Tracking Down a Defect Management Tool

If you are doing this for the first time, it's a challenge to know where to begin and what to look for in an effective defect tracking and management solution. If you have done this before, you may find that several new commercially available defect tracking solutions offer many advanced feature sets.

Making the right choice requires a methodical planning and evaluation process. First, treat this assignment as a real project. As with any project, you need to know who the stakeholders are. You'll need to identify who has influence over your organization's defect tracking and management process, and the selection of the proposed tool. Ideally, one person will have ownership of all these issues. Realistically, however, several people (testers, QA staff, test managers, engineering managers, project managers, and even upper management) will have an interest in these requirements. Determine how you can best gain the consensus of these individuals. Ask yourself, too, who will make the ultimate buying decision. Even when the selection process is a group effort that's built on consensus, it's wise to know ahead of time who will sign the check and what their potential objections might be.

Who will be your system's users? While some of the users won't have direct input about the requirements, identifying and understanding who the users are helps assess the suitability of the products you're evaluating.

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