Saturday, 20 August 2016

The cost of unresolved bugs

Most projects deliver solutions with bugs. When projects are working with tight and mandatory deadlines there might be a lot of known and documented defects as a result just prior to a release. Other projects might be in a position where they can postpone a their release and bring down the number of bugs. Think a bit about the consequence and cost of those defects related to actually delivering a less bug-infected solution a bit later.

The cost of any unresolved bug does at least include the following tasks: 
  • Impact analysis (money, time, material)
  • Workaround analysis and testing
  • SOP documentation
  • Re-plannning. 
On top of this there is at least some documentation that has to be updated twice (one for the bug version, and a next one when the bug has been fixed). There might be additional costs that are less visible. A bug might prevent progress on other tasks in a project and so on. Users might need re-training on top of SOP documentation in order to follow the new SOP. And finally there is the grey zone - what if we didn't analyse and understand the workaround completely.

Nevertheless, what might seem like a relatively correct and easy decision might actually add more work and more costs and more uncertainty to a given release.


  1. Mikkel, very useful article! It's imaginable how far can one bug can go along the way. I very much stand behind choosing an agile environment since it helps to quickly reproduce test failures & product regressions.

    Here is a full overview of the methodology, I think it's definitely the ultimate waywhen dealing with bugs:

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