Prepare a Comprehensive Software Defect Report: Qualities To Keep In Mind

Defect report is a very important document when there is a need to make the development team aware of an issue in the software so that it can be fixed as soon as possible. It contains all the important information about the defect or bug so that the team concerned to correct it can properly understand the issue and can solve it effectively. But before moving ahead to learn ‘how to write a defect report?’. The notion of the defect should be clear.

What can be Considered a Defect/Bug?

Testing is a very important process in the software development industry, as it is the one that discovers the weak points of the software. These weak points are called bugs or defects.

  1. The defect can be a missing requirement that the software is expected to satisfy. Some certain requirements and functionalities are decided at the beginning of the software planning and if the software fails to meet one, then it is necessary to fix them.
  2. Even if the software has incorporated some unnecessary or incorrect requirements, then also it’s a defect to report.
  3. In agile development methodology, requirements are ever-evolving and it is required to incorporate new ones in the software for improved user experience. These new or extra requirements can be considered a defect.
  4. Enhancement suggestions are also included in the defects report, as the basic purpose of the report is to help the development team realise the scope to improve the software.
  5. Software inconsistencies on different operating environments or platforms are also defects. We have observed many times a software works poorly on one browser but works perfectly on others.
  6. Another kind of defects are document-related problems.

Qualities of a Good Defects Report

An incomplete defect report, that missed some necessary details might lead to the rejection of the defect and wastage of efforts and time and the companies are very concerned about the effective use of their development team’s time. Even the defect rejected might be having a severe impact on the software and went ignored because of a bad bug report.

Some bugs are platform-specific which might be present in one and are absent in the other. There are situations when the development team fails to reproduce the bug. Due to the lack of sufficient information about the environment in which the bug was detected and the steps required to perform for encountering it.

Step by step guide should be provided to reproduce the bug and the tester should be sure about it by testing for the recurrence of the bug 2 to 3 times before reporting it. A good defects report is the one that requires the least effort from the development team to understand the defect and what is the expected outcome?

Defects List Template

Defect ID

A unique Defect ID should be assigned to each defect as per the convention followed by the team. It will make finding a defect easily while looking on the defect sheet. In a Defect Management Tool, defect ID is assigned automatically.

Software Defect Report
Image Source: Olenick

Issue Title

The title of the issue should be short but should be clear enough to broadly understand the defect. Small phrases giving no idea about the source of the defect are not considered an as good one.

Reporter Name

Then the name of the person who detected or is reporting the defect should be provided. That person might be a tester, a business analyst, a customer or any other team member.

Reporting Date

The date should be specified on which the bug was first encountered.

Designation of the Reporter

The designation of the reporter of the bug should also be provided. It may be a QA, business analyst, or user.

Detection Process

It should be mentioned which operation was being performed while the bug was first encountered? A defect may be detected during testing, just exploring, or during reviewing the software.

Project Name

After this, the project’s name should be written.

Version Details

It is also very useful to provide the exact details of the version of the software which has the mentioned defect. There are various updates and new versions are released for software and it is possible to have a defect in the new version, which was absent in the earlier version.


It should also be made clear that the defect is a bug or a suggestion for enhancing the software capabilities. A bug and enhancement are treated in separate ways. On one hand, where the bug is an obstacle in the operation of the software so it is almost mandatory to fix it. On the other hand, an enhancement suggestion can be accepted or rejected by the development team.

Detection Environment

As mentioned earlier, it is also important to clearly define the environment on which the bug was encountered. The name of the browser, operating system, and device should be included in the defects report. Because the defects might be platform-dependent and the developer might not find the bug in his environment.


There are multiple defects that the developers are required to deal with daily so it is a good practice to mention ‘how soon the bug should be resolved?’. 

Software Defect Report
Image Source: TRANSPOCO

It is decided based on the impact it causes on the functioning of the software and can affect the user’s experience. It will help them to focus on the next most important defect.

Current Status

The status of the defect will let the team understand the stage of defect correction. There are various status in defect correction like:

  • New
  • Duplicate
  • Accepted
  • Rejected
  • Getting fixed
  • Fixed
  • Closed
  • Cannot be fixed, etc.
Software Defect Report

Describe the Issue

The issue should be described briefly, like the actions you performed when you encountered the bug. 

Steps to Reproduce

Step by step guide should be provided so that the developers can easily reproduce the bug. Many reports are rejected because the developers do not know the exact operations which lead to the occurrence of the defect.

Expected and Current Behaviour

The desired behaviour from the software should be mentioned, which the software is failing to perform due to the bug.

Along with that, the current response of the software should also be clearly defined.


Screenshot of the defect can help the development team to the bug in a better way

Close Date

The date should be mentioned in which the defect is completely addressed.


A good defect report containing all the key pieces of information about the defects eases out the defect correction process for the development team and builds a software offering quality user experience.