Jira Bug Tracking Actionable Guide & Best Practices

Jira is a project management tool that enables agile teams to develop software more efficiently. With it, teams can plan projects, track their development, and yes, even track bugs.

Jira Bug Tracking Actionable Guide & Best Practices
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Jira is a project management tool that enables agile teams to develop software more efficiently. With it, teams can plan projects, track their development, and yes, even track bugs.
This flexibility has made Jira the tool of choice for 100,000+ organizations.
In this guide, we'll answer that question and provide a step-by-step tutorial on how to use Jira for bug tracking. We’ll also be introducing you to Bugpilot—a bug tracking tool that you can integrate with Jira to improve on your bug tracking process.
More about Bugpilot later, though—let’s dive into our guide to bug tracking with Jira.

What Is Bug Tracking?

Bug tracking, as the name suggests, means tracking bugs as you develop, test, and iterate software. The process of developing software involves logging bugs and issues, as well as monitoring them, so you can save yourself time (and stress) down the line by fixing issues early.
When issues arise in large, complex systems (like software), it becomes increasingly expensive and difficult to fix them as time goes on. This is especially true if you start building new systems on top of defective systems.
Take a look at the graph below:
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If you catch a bug during the requirements stage, it’s relatively quick to fix. But if that bug reaches production? You’re looking at a 30X increase in the amount of time it will take to resolve.
That’s why it’s important to have a powerful tool to evaluate, monitor, and prioritize issues for resolution. You may also find that you need to track bugs over a set period of time to fully eliminate them.

What Are Some Examples of Software Bugs?

There are multiple types of bugs a developer might encounter, including:

System Crash

Almost everyone who uses technology has experienced a system crash. This occurs when something within a program, software, or operating system malfunctions. This results in the system shutting down—often abruptly and without warning. System crashes can lead to data loss, decreased productivity, and additional expenses. Furthermore, they can have a negative impact on a company's reputation.

Functional Error

A functional error in this context refers to something within the software not functioning as it’s intended. These are quite common problems. Functional errors can normally be detected easily during the testing phase.

Performance Bugs

Performance bugs can adversely affect software's speed, stability, and response time—aspects that have a direct impact on its usability. Because performance bugs are harder to identify and correct than non-performance bugs, they're not as straightforward to deal with as the latter. Since they don't cause programs to crash, they aren't as obvious.

Syntax Errors

Syntax errors are errors in a line of code. These can be grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, or missing symbols. Syntax errors can have devastating results on software and can cause it to break completely.

Why Is Understanding Jira Bug Tracking so Important?

Bug tracking is essential for all development teams to understand—but there are additional reasons why it’s important to understand bug tracking in Jira:

Make Full Use of the Complex Platform

Jira is a complex platform. It has a tonne of features for managing software development projects. To get the most out of the platform, and the money you’re spending if you’re not opting for the free version, you need to learn all its functionalities.

Discover How to Use Jira as a Bug Tracker

Because Jira isn’t solely a bug tracker, it may be difficult to understand how you use it as such. This guide will walk you through the specific steps that you can take to use Jira as a bug tracker.
We’ve highlighted the importance of early bug detection. Jira can help you keep track of issues. It can also record who resolved them and how long it took. This information can help agile teams to analyze testing data and identify defect trends.

A Better Customer Experience

Bug-tracking software gives companies and developers complete transparency. Not only does it directly give customers a better experience with the software, but it also provides insight into its developmental stages. Users can manage their software analysis and control from one platform. This gives developers a complete picture to keep everything seamless and running smoothly.

Improve Your ROI by Reducing Development Costs

Bug tracking in Jira can improve your ROI. Using the software, developers can remain organized. They can analyze logs to spot pattern errors with bottlenecks or issues that repeatedly crop up. Teams can also fix bugs by order of importance, making a more productive and efficient operation.

How to Use Jira for Tracking Bugs

Now, we’re going to get stuck into the specifics of how to use Jira for tracking bugs.

Step 1: Set up your bug-tracking project

Here are the instructions for setting up your project:
  • Firstly, log into your organization’s workspace.
  • Select “Projects” in the toolbar, followed by “Create project”.
  • From “Project templates”, you select “Software development”. You then click “Bug tracking”.
  • Click on “Use Template” before naming it and giving it a key.
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  • Finally, click on “Create project”.
Doing this sets your project up as a bug tracker. From here, teams can track bugs and report issues for the whole of the software development process.
You’ll have a default screen to create issues. Your team can add information such as:
  • Issue Type
  • Summary
  • Description
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Step 2: Create your workflows

Next, you can move on to creating workflows. Here’s how to do it:
  • Your first location is the settings menu. Click on the “Settings” icon as shown below.
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  • From this menu, select “Issues”.
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  • You will find the “Workflows” option on the left-hand side of the Issues page. After clicking it, you may create a workflow from scratch. Or, you can import one directly from Jira’s marketplace.
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  • Add your workflow and then a description of it. You then select “Add” to enter the visual workflow builder.
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  • You can add a new status to your workflow by clicking on “Add status”.
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  • The dropdown menu will present you with a list of status options. Choose one then click “Add”. The status will then be created.
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  • Similarly, you can add a transition to your status by simply clicking “Add transition”.
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  • Now you can give your transition a name and description. Click on “Add” to save and continue.
You can create as many of these as you need to. If you set transitions to “All” you can switch them between statuses easily.

Step 3: Create a Kanban board

Your next step for bug tracking with Jira is to create a Kanban board. This will help your team map and manage the workflow. Kanban boards provide a visual representation of tasks, which improves efficiency.
  • To the left of your workflow page, you will find a “Board” option. Click on this and then on “Create board”.
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  • In the pop-up, select “Create a Kanban board”. Then choose your board name, which project it will belong to, and its location, before clicking “Create board”.
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You can track your bugs from your Kanban boards. You can also add stories and details of your projects.

Step 4: Create custom issue types

Jira enables users to create custom issue types for easier management and tracking. Follow these steps to set these up:
  • When you’re in your project workspace, choose “Project settings” then “Issue types”.
  • Click on “Add issue type” then “Create issue type”.
  • Next, name your issue and add a description.
  • Head over to “Screen schemes” then click on “Add screen schemes” and create a new one. You must then connect it to your custom screen.
  • Finally, click on “Issue type screen scheme”. Select the project you want to use the new issue for.
  • Then, select “Associate an issue type with a screen scheme” and click on “Add”.
Now you have a custom issue type linked to a specific project.

Step 5: Create a system to prioritize bugs

Our last step is to create a system that prioritizes new bugs to fix. The aim is to build a system that helps you resolve issues quickly and in an organized manner.
Assign bugs to team members by dragging and dropping them into their respective to-dos. You can then use the drop-down menu to set a bug’s level of priority.
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Bugpilot: A Tool To Take Your Bug Tracking One Step Further

If all this seems a bit complicated, Bugpilot integrates with Jira to simplify your process.
Bugpilot offers comprehensive reporting and tracking features. The platform provides detailed information about each bug automatically, which simplifies the process of tracking bugs and—more importantly—fixing them.
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Bugpilot also integrates seamlessly with 100+ applications, including Intercom, Sendesk, Trello, and Jira.

How can BugPilot help you track bugs more effectively?

  • Detailed Bug Reports, Automatically: Bugpilot automatically generates detailed bug reports that include critical information such as status, severity, priority and more. With just one click, you can get the data you need to get started fixing a bug.
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  • Streamlined Bug Reporting: With Bugpilot, you can quickly report and track bugs without having to navigate through a complex system. You simply enter the bug details, assign it a category, set its priority and you’re ready to go—it's that easy!
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  • Comprehensive Bug Detection: Automatically detect and monitor frontend and UX bugs before they impact users and detract from your product or service.
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  • Easy Bug Replays: Easily replay user sessions to view and identify the bugs in real-time.
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Bugpilot offers three plans—Small ($9/mo), Team ($29/mo), and Enterprise ($299/mo).
The Small plan offers unlimited reports and great integrations for up to 3 users. Larger teams will likely need to upgrade. New Bugpilot users even enjoy a 14-day free trial to test the product out!


Bug tracking is a crucial aspect of software development. Software like Jira makes spotting, managing, and fixing errors easier than trying to do it manually. Bug tracking tools will save you money. They will also help your team be more productive by highlighting and prioritizing specific tasks.
Jira may make bug tracking simple, but Bugpilot makes it simpler still. Debug your software in real-time and enable customers to report issues directly to you. Receive detailed reports with all the information you need to debug your software.
Sign up for a free trial and see first-hand how Bugpilot speeds up your debugging process!

Get automatic notifications when coding errors occur, failed network requests happen, or users rage-click. Bugpilot provides you with user session replay and all the technical info needed to reproduce and fix bugs quickly.

Never Miss a Bug Again!

Start a free trial today