Stay Productive with Bug Tracking
Published: 22 Jan 2008
In this article,Yaron points out how to save hundreds of hours a month in software development with the help of a Bug Tracking tool. He starts with a brief introduction and then explores the different scenarios. Finally, a comparison chart is provided to help you understand the advantage of using the software.
by Yaron Sinai
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Accurate communication is the key to the success of the bug tracking process. This communication takes the form of timely information flow between customers, QA and Development. This reduces the time spent on tasks that communicate bug information saves money.

Let us explore the tasks completed daily by personnel in software development throughout the development process. We will compare the time and money spent on the tasks when they have Bug Tracking and when they do not. The average time spent on a task and the costs per hour are based on actual experience at Elementool Inc.

The Need for Improvement

To start, with Elementool's Bug Tracking, the user logs in to the account and immediately sees all relevant information. This gives a snapshot or overview of the bugs currently in the system. They can see exactly how many issues are assigned to them. The issues are sorted by status, severity, priority or any other criteria the user might choose.

This type of report takes about five minutes to create using in-house software or Excel. Done once an hour, that is 40 minutes a day of saved time. That is 15 hours per month or $450 worth of a programmer's time.

Another near constant demand for the QA or development person is the need to attach files to various issues reported to the system. Then, when a user works on fixing a bug, they have access to the files related to the bug. For example, issues related to the UI could be pictured in a screen shot and attached to the issue to aid in quickly describing the problem. There is no need for the user to conduct a tiresome search for the screen shot in the company’s files.

Without file attachments, a developer needs to spend about 15 minutes a day searching for files. That is five hours a month of wasted time of a developer. At an average of $30/hour for a developer's salary that is a cost saving of $150 a month per developer on just this simple task.   

Knowing how many open bugs there are in each stage of the project and how much time it takes for bugs to be fixed can provide the project manager better control over their project.

Project managers find it difficult to run the project according to schedule if they do not know at any given moment how many open bugs there are to fix, what the priority of each bug is, which bugs can be postponed until the next release and how long it takes for bugs to be fixed. Elementool enables you to run a report that shows you within seconds exactly how many bugs are still open, what their priority is and how long it takes for bugs to be fixed.

Tracking the bug lifecycle, important in determining the status and history of the bug, indicates the bug’s progress or lack of it. Elementool's Bug Tracking clarifies the picture in seconds for the entire life of the bug, including the date of reporting, status (fixed, open, new, etc). Such precise information is not available visually in e-mail, Excel spreadsheets or in-house tools.

Performing development and testing tasks according to their priority can increase efficiency and prevent unnecessary waste of time during the product development process.

In many cases developers do not know the priority of each task and often spend more time on low priority tasks than high priority tasks. As a result the project is not completed on time. Elementool enables you to define the priority and severity of individual bugs and assign them to the different developers. This way, developers know which bugs are assigned to them and what the priority of each bug is.

Elementool's Bug Tracking is designed with customizable fields. Users submit clear and precise information to the bug database using the bug tracking form. One example is the Remark Message Board enabling clear communication between team members. Priority and severity fields, environmental variables such as operating system, browser type and hardware configuration can be placed in customizable fields as well.

Organized and clear information saves communication time for developers when interfacing with the tester who reported the bug. When bugs are reported using Excel spreadsheets or e-mail, the developer often needs to contact the tester to get more information.

That extra time is costly. It is an average of two minutes of developer time and two minutes of a tester's time. If these actions are performed an average of 10 times a day, it is 40 minutes of wasted time. That is about 15 hours a month or $450.

Task Comparison


Excel\E-mail\In-house Solution

Elementool Bug Tracking

File attachments

5 hours/month

5 minutes/month

Creating reports

15 hours/month

5 minutes/month

Requesting additional information regarding issues reported

15 hours/month

1 hour/month


In short, the savings are significant when a company uses Elementool's Bug Tracking for only $89.99/month. As we have seen, for just one developer you can save over 30 hours and $1,000 per month in costs associated with project development.

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