Effective Metrics for Bug Tracking in Software Quality Assurance

Effective Metrics for Bug Tracking in Software Quality Assurance

3 July 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment QA

Tracking metrics in bug tracking systems like Jira can be a double-edged sword. While capturing certain data points can provide insights into the development process, it can also lead to unintended consequences if not handled properly. In this article, we will explore which metrics are useful to track and which ones might be less beneficial, particularly focusing on the question of whether to track the number of times a bug gets reopened.

Key Metrics to Track

Determining which metrics to track depends on the goals of your project and the needs of your stakeholders. Here are some commonly tracked metrics:

Metrics Measuring the Status of Testing

  • % of tests executed
  • % test plan complete

Metrics Measuring the Effectiveness of Testing

  • Availability of test environment
  • Defect age
  • Number of defects found after release vs. number found before release

Metrics Measuring Quality

  • % of test coverage
  • % of tests passed
  • Number of defects found
  • Severity of defects

Metrics Measuring Resources

  • Defects per developer
  • Defects per functional area

Should You Track the Number of Times a Bug Gets Reopened?

Tracking the number of times a bug gets reopened is a contentious issue. Here are some considerations:

  • False Alarms: A bug may be reopened due to different underlying issues that manifest with the same symptoms. This can lead to misleading data.
  • Duplicate Reports: In complex systems, the same bug might be reported multiple times by different users, leading to redundancy.
  • Perverse Incentives: Tracking such metrics might lead to counterproductive behavior, such as developers focusing on metrics rather than actual problem-solving.

Instead of focusing on how many times a bug is reopened, it might be more useful to look at the areas generating the most issues. In many cases, testers and developers will already have a good sense of where the problem areas are without needing specific metrics.

How to Decide What Metrics to Track

The best way to decide which metrics to track is to consult with your stakeholders. Different metrics will be valuable to different audiences, so it’s important to gather input from:

  • Developers
  • Project Managers
  • Upper Management
  • End-users/Customers
  • Test Team Members

By understanding what each group values, you can tailor your metrics to provide the most relevant and actionable information.


In summary, while tracking the number of times a bug gets reopened might seem useful, it often leads to misleading information and counterproductive behavior. Instead, focus on metrics that provide real insights into the quality and effectiveness of your testing and development processes.

For those looking to optimize their testing processes further, consider using a no-code test automation tool like Repeato. Repeato allows you to create, run, and maintain automated tests for your iOS and Android apps quickly and efficiently. With its computer vision and AI-based approach, Repeato can help you focus on improving software quality without getting bogged down by complex code or extensive setup processes.

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