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INSIGHTS: What Is Defect Analysis?
Sastri Munsamy
Executive: Technology and Innovation

INSIGHTS: What Is Defect Analysis?

In the software development process, a bug or defect has a life cycle. The defect needs to go through the life cycle in order to be fixed and closed.


The name of the defect status may vary depending on the tools that are used (QC, JIRA, etc.) and the process followed in the organisation. A defect can be defined as the abnormal behaviour of the software. The life cycle analysis starts when the defect is found and ends when the defect is closed after ensuring it is not reproduced.


The goal of a defect analysis is to determine the root cause of the defect. The root cause can be defined as the causal or contributing factors that, if corrected, would prevent the recurrence of the identified problem. The ‘factor’ that caused the defect should be permanently eliminated through process improvement. To do this, a standard defect analysis process is followed.


Standard Defect Analysis Process

  • Identifying the problem,
  • Containing and analysing the problem,
  • Defining the root cause,
  • Defining and implementing the actions required to eliminate the root cause, and
  • Validating that the corrective action prevented recurrence of the problem.

A defect analysis can save time and money. Here are some of the benefits of defect analysis:


  • Problems are not repeated, thereby reducing rework, retesting, re-inspections, and costs that are incurred due to poor quality software,
  • Problems are prevented in other areas,
  • Communication improves between groups,
  • Process cycle times improve (because there are fewer rework loops), and
  • Secure long-term company performance and profitability.

Incremental Software Improvements

Defect analysis is a cooperative effort between the different consultants involved in a project. Their knowledge about the processes is put to use to help in defect analysis and can be considered as part of the model for experience-driven incremental software process improvement.


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