Bug Life Cycle - How to Improve Software Testing in 2023

Software testing is an important part of the development process and bug life cycles are an essential part of this. Different stages are involved depending on the type of bug, and SaaS companies in particular must be prepared to deal with them. Automating part of the process with tools like Bugpilot can help improve efficiency and ensure bugs are fixed before they disrupt the customer experience.

Bug Life Cycle - How to Improve Software Testing in 2023
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Bug life cycles are an essential part of software testing and help streamline the process, especially for larger teams. There are different stages involved depending on the type of bug you’re dealing with, so bug life cycles often vary from project to project. Bugs are very common in software and can appear in various forms.
SaaS companies in particular have to deal with bugs on a regular basis. It’s important to fix bugs before they can majorly disrupt the customer experience, so bug detection and management should always strive to be as efficient as possible. Using tools like Bugpilot to automate part of the process is a great way of improving efficiency.

What is a bug life cycle?

A bug life cycle, also known as a defect life cycle, refers to the different stages involved in a bug’s lifetime. It starts when a bug is discovered during software testing and ends when it’s been fixed/eradicated.
A bug testing life cycle differs depending on the resolution process. Some life cycles are longer and involve more stages while others are shorter.

What is a defect?

A defect is another term for a software bug. It’s essentially an error, which causes software to behave incorrectly.

What is a bug life cycle status?

A bug life cycle in software testing is made up of different stages, which are known as bug statuses. A bug status tells you where a bug is in terms of the fixing process. For example, if it’s just been discovered by the tester, the bug will be assigned the ‘new’ status.
Bug statuses also inform you on what actions need to be taken. For example, ‘new’ bugs must be sent to the project manager for analysis. Statuses make bugs easier to manage and monitor.

Bug life cycle statuses

  • New This status is assigned to newly discovered bugs that have yet to undergo any analysis or fixing.
  • Assigned This status is assigned after a bug has been analyzed and sent to developers for fixing. Project managers usually assign this status.
  • Open This status indicates when a bug is in the process of being fixed. Developers usually assign this status. Developers first analyze a bug before deciding to fix it. If they feel the bug doesn’t require fixing at this stage, one of four statuses will be assigned. These statuses can also be assigned by project managers after their bug analysis:
  • Rejected Developers assign this status when they decide a bug is not a real issue and doesn’t require fixing.
  • Duplicate Developers assign this status when a bug they receive is the same as another one.
  • Deferred Developers assign this status when they determine a bug to be of low priority and doesn’t require immediate fixing.
  • Not a Bug Developers assign this status when a bug doesn’t affect software performance and therefore isn’t a bug. For example, it could be a cosmetic error, such as incorrect text colors, which doesn’t impact how software functions.
  • Fixed This status is assigned when a developer has finished resolving a bug.
  • Pending Retest This status informs testers that a fixed bug requires retesting for any issues. Testers usually assign this status themselves after receiving a fixed bug. The ‘pending retest’ status means the bug has yet to enter the retesting stage.
  • Retest This status is assigned when a bug is undergoing retests to see whether there are any ongoing errors that require fixing. Testers usually assign this status.
  • Reopen If testers encounter issues with a bug during retesting, they will assign the ‘reopen’ status and send the bug back to developers for further engineering.
  • Verified Testers assign this status when a retested bug has been fixed accurately.
  • Closed This status is assigned to any bugs that have been completely resolved and require no more tasks.

Why is a bug life cycle in software testing important?

Organizes Bug Management

A bug life cycle organizes the bug management process by clearly marking the stages involved using statuses. You can use a bug life cycle in software testing to plan and order bug management tasks, such as testing for user-facing bugs.

Improves Efficiency

A bug life cycle improves work efficiency by making defects easier to keep track of. You just need to view a bug status to know what stage it’s at and how much progress has been made. This decreases the likelihood of any repeated work being repeated.

Streamlines Communication

A bug life cycle in software testing streamlines communication between team members using bug statuses. They keep everyone informed of what tasks need to be done without the need for additional communication. For example, if a bug has been assigned ‘fixed’, the tester will know to retest the bug next to check whether any errors still exist.
Team members can also change or update statuses to keep others up-to-date on their progress. For example, if a developer is currently working on a bug, they will let everyone know by assigning the ‘open’ status.

Examples of bugs in software testing


One of the most common and detrimental bugs is a crash, which is when a software suddenly shuts down. This usually occurs when a software has stopped working on a fundamental scale.

Functional error

A functional error refers to any software features that don’t work as intended. For example, the ‘confirm’ button can’t be selected.

Missing command

Missing commands refer to any features that should be present but are missing. These features are expected to be in the software for functionality purposes. For example, a user wants to exit out of the checkout process, but there’s no way to do so. There should be a cancel or exit option available — these are missing commands.

Bug tracking tools in software testing


Bugpilot automates the most costly parts of bug management with features like auto-generated bug reports and automatic screen recordings. You can share reports with team members in one simple click, and errors are even highlighted for you to make them easy to locate. Bugpilot also has integrations with many popular third-party tools, such as Intercom, Zendesk, and Trello.
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Backlog streamlines software management for teams with features that allow for easy bug tracking, such as task priority, bug statuses, and milestones. There’s also features that make code management easier, such as built-in repositories and inline comments. Display all your tasks on visual platforms, like gantt charts and boards.
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Katalon TestOps

Katalon TestOps is a test management tool that makes bug tracking simple with features like mapping project requirements, prioritizing tasks, and building quality insights in the form of advanced reports.
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How to use bug life cycles in software testing

There are usually three parts to a bug life cycle: bug testing, bug analysis, and bug resolution. There are several roles involved in bug management, but the main two are software testers and developers.

Step 1: Tester discovers a bug

Software undergoes routine testing to make sure there aren’t any errors present. This is especially important, as during live environments, 96% of users don’t report bugs. So the responsibility is on your shoulders.
Testers will use a program’s features in search of bugs. If any are discovered, they are assigned the ‘new’ status so project managers will know to analyze them. You can also discover bugs through user reports by integrating Bugpilot into your software.
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Step 2: Project manager analyzes the bug

‘New’ bugs are given to project managers for analysis, and this involves determining their validity. If a bug is deemed a genuine concern as it affects software functionality, the ‘assigned’ status will be given. Otherwise, the bug will be given the ‘rejected’ or ‘not a bug’ status depending on the circumstances.
Alternatively, if a bug is considered low priority and can be fixed at a later date, the ‘deferred’ status is assigned. Project managers can also assign the ‘duplicate’ status if a bug is identical to another.

Step 3: Developers analyze the bug

‘Assigned’ bugs are sent to developers for further analysis. Developers, much like project managers, can reject or defer bugs if they deem them invalid. If they determine a bug to be valid and in need of resolving, the ‘open’ status will be assigned. Developers will then begin fixing the bug.
You can use tools like Bugpilot to manage defects more efficiently. Bugpilot sends auto-generated bug reports to your helpdesk, which contain important details such as bug descriptions, how to reproduce errors, console logs, and more so you can begin fixing bugs straight away.
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Once a bug has been resolved, the ‘fixed’ status is assigned.

Step 4: Tester retests the bug

‘Fixed’ bugs are sent to testers, who check for persisting errors. If none are found, the ‘closed’ status is assigned. This marks a bug as completely resolved. If there are still errors, the ‘reopen’ status is assigned.
‘Reopen’ bugs are sent to developers for fixing. Testers will check the bug once more for errors. If none appear, the ‘verified’ status is assigned. After the project manager determines a bug to be fully resolved, he will close the issue.


A bug testing life cycle is often used in software management to streamline the bug resolution process. It consists of several stages, which vary depending on the project. There are usually three parts involved in a bug life cycle: the testing phase, the analysis phase, and the engineering phase.
A bug life cycle begins when a defect is discovered by a tester and ends once the bug has been resolved. Companies often use bug management tools like Bugpilot to increase work efficiency.
Bugpilot simplifies the bug resolution process by sending auto-generated reports to your help desk and collecting screen recordings to document errors accurately. Join Bugpilot for free today or check out our prices for a full rundown of our features.

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.

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