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Defect Report in Software Engineering

Last Updated : 24 Jan, 2024
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Prerequisite: Defect Life Cycle

What is Defect?

A defect in a software product is also known as a bug, error or fault which makes the software produce an unexpected result as per the software requirements. For example; incorrect data, system hangs, unexpected errors, missing or incorrect requirements.

What is Defect Report?

A defect report is a document that has concise details about what defects are identified, what action steps make the defects show up, and what are the expected results instead of the application showing error (defect) while taking particular step by step actions.  

Defect reports are usually created by the Quality Assurance team and also by the end-users (customers). Often customers detect more defects and report them to the support team of the software development since the majority of the customers curiously tries out every feature in the application. Now, you know what actually defect and defect reports are.  

Why do they Create Defect Reports ? What do they do with them?

1. Recognition and Keeping records

  • The purpose of defect reports is to formally record and disseminate information regarding software defects or issues that have been found.
  • What They Do: They document the type of problem, where it is located in the code, how to recreate it, what behavior is expected versus what is observed and any additional relevant data.

2. Interaction & Cooperation

  • The goal of defect reports is to help the development team’s various stakeholders, developers, testers, project managers, and occasionally even end users communicate with one another.
  • What They Do: They give team members a methodical way to communicate about the flaw, assisting them in understanding the problem, its consequences and its urgency.

3. Client Happiness

  • End users reports of problems frequently lead to defect reports, which have an adverse effect on customer satisfaction.
  • What They Do: Addressing user problems and raising overall customer satisfaction levels are facilitated by the prompt and efficient resolution of defects based on the data in the reports.

4. Law and Order

  • In certain situations, defect reports may be needed for legal or contractual requirements.
  • What They Do: They facilitate compliance to contractual duties or industry standards by acting as a record of issues and their resolutions.

The reason behind why defect reports are created is to help developers to find out the defects easily and fix them up. A defect report is usually assigned by QA to a developer who then reads the report and reproduces the defects on the software product by following the action steps mentioned in the report. After that, the developer fixes the defects in order to get the desired outcome specified in the report.

That is why the defect reports are important and created carefully. Defect reports should be short, organized, straight to the point and covers all the information that the developer needs to detect the actual defects in the report by doing what and how the one written the defect report detected the defects.  

It is usual for QA teams to get defect reports from the clients that are either too short to reproduce and rectify or too long to understand what actually went wrong.  

For example,  

Defect Description: The application doesn’t work as expected.  

Now, how in the world does a developer or QA know what went wrong which doesn’t meet the client expectation?  

In such a case, the developer report to the QA that he couldn’t find any problem or he may have fixed any other error but not the actual one client detected. So that’s why it’s really important to create a concise defect report to get bugs fixed.  

All right. You have a pretty good idea about what, whys and how’s of a defect report. So it’s time for what is inside the report.  

A typical defect report contains the information in an xls Sheet as follows.  

1. Defect ID :
Nothing but a serial number of defects in the report.  

2. Defect Description :
A short and clear description of the defect detected.  

3. Action Steps :
What the client or QA did in an application that results in the defect. Step by step actions they took.  

4. Expected Result :
What results are expected as per the requirements when performing the action steps mentioned.  

5. Actual Result :
What results are actually showing up when performing the action steps.  

6. Severity :
Trivial (A small bug that doesn’t affect the software product usage).  

  1. Low – 
    A small bug that needs to be fixed and again it’s not going to affect the performance of the software.
  2. Medium – 
    This bug does affect the performance. Such as being an obstacle to do a certain action. Yet there is another way to do the same thing.
  3. High – 
    It highly impacts the software though there is a way around to successfully do what the bug cease to do.
  4. Critical – 
    These bugs heavily impacts the performance of the application. Like crashing the system, freezes the system or requires the system to restart for working properly.

 7. Attachments :
A sequence of screenshots of performing the step by step actions and getting the unexpected result. One can also attach a short screen recording of performing the steps and encountering defects. Short videos help developers and/or QA to understand the bugs easily and quickly.  

8. Additional information :
The platform you used, operating system and version. And other information which describes the defects in detail for assisting the developer understand the problem and fixing the code for getting desired results.  


A defect report is a crucial instrument for efficient communication, defect management and general quality control in the software development industry. Its significance goes beyond problem discovery and includes defect resolution throughout its whole lifecycle and supports continuous development process improvement.

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