Defect Priority and Severity Levels
Priority and severity level of defects needed to be defined as the development team cannot resolve all defects simultaneously. The test team needs to indicate how soon they want to get the defect fixed, and how big the impact on the functionality of the application under test is. Classification levels are defined as under:
- High: If the priority of defect is set to be high, it means defect is needed to be fixed immediately. It shows that core functionality fails or test execution is completely blocked.
- Medium: If the priority is set to be medium then it means fix the defect soon. It shows that important functionality fails but we don’t need to test it right now and we have a workaround.
- Low: If the priority of defect is set to be low then it means don’t fix this defect before the high and medium defects are fixed but don’t forget this defect.
Defect priority indicates the impact on the test team or test planning. If the defect blocks or greatly slows down test execution, you might want to select the highest grade for the defect priority.
- Critical: If the severity status is defined as critical then it means a core functionality returns completely invalid results or doesn’t work at all.
- Important: If the severity status is defined as important then it means this defect has impact on basic functionality.
- Useful: If the severity status is defined as useful then it means there is impact on the business, but only in a very few cases.
- Nice to have: If the status of severity is defined as nice to have then it means the impact on the business is minor. Any user interface defect not complicating the functionality often gets this severity grade.
Defect severity indicates the impact on the business of the client. If important functionality is blocked or if that functionality functions incorrectly, the test engineer mostly selects the highest defect severity.
It is clear that priority and severity qualifiers may differ which is depending on companies or projects but basically their value remains the same. It is depending on test engineer that how to assign defect priority and severity after measuring impact of each defect. Nevertheless he should always decide with care as the defect resolution time depends on this.