Handling Critical Bugs Before a Production Release: Best Practices for QA Teams

Handling Critical Bugs Before a Production Release: Best Practices for QA Teams

3 July 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment QA

In the fast-paced world of software development, critical bugs can often emerge just before a scheduled production release. This poses a significant challenge for QA teams, who must balance the urgency of the release with the responsibility of ensuring product quality. Here, we outline the most effective strategies for handling such situations, emphasizing clear communication and stakeholder involvement.

Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Critical Bugs Pre-Release

1. Communicate Transparently

When a critical bug is discovered, the first step is to inform all relevant stakeholders. This includes the development team, product managers, marketing team, and any other parties who might be impacted by the bug or the release decision. Clearly explain the nature of the bug, its potential impact on users, and any known workarounds.

2. Conduct a Risk Analysis

Next, perform a thorough risk analysis to evaluate the implications of releasing the product with the known bug versus delaying the release. Consider the following risks:

  • Technical Risks: Can the issue be fixed post-release? Could the bug lead to data loss or corruption?
  • Business Risks: Will the bug result in a loss of customers or revenue?
  • Marketing Risks: How will the bug affect the product’s market perception and growth?

3. Facilitate a Go/No-Go Decision

Organize a meeting with all stakeholders to discuss the findings from the risk analysis and decide whether to proceed with the release. This decision should be made collectively, based on data and the input of all parties involved. If the decision is to proceed, ensure that the marketing team is prepared to communicate the known issue to users, including any workarounds.

4. Prepare for Post-Release Actions

If the release goes ahead, coordinate closely with the development team to prioritize fixing the bug. The QA team should be ready to test any patches or fixes as soon as they are available to minimize further disruptions. Additionally, monitor user feedback and be prepared to address any issues that arise as a result of the bug.

5. Evaluate and Improve Processes

After the release, conduct a retrospective to evaluate how the situation was handled and identify areas for improvement. This could involve refining your risk analysis process, improving communication channels, or adjusting release criteria to better handle critical bugs in the future.


Managing critical bugs before a production release requires a balanced approach that prioritizes clear communication, thorough risk analysis, and collective decision-making. By following these steps, QA teams can navigate these challenging situations effectively and maintain product quality.

How Repeato Can Help

For teams looking to streamline their QA processes, Repeato offers a powerful no-code test automation tool for iOS and Android applications. With Repeato’s computer vision and AI capabilities, you can quickly create, run, and maintain automated tests, ensuring that critical bugs are identified and addressed efficiently. By integrating Repeato into your QA workflow, you can enhance your product’s quality assurance and expedite your release cycles.

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