Defect life cycle, a.k.a Bug life cycle is the journey of a defect cycle from its identification to its closure. A defect undergoes different states during its lifetime. But before going deep about the defect life cycle phases, it is important to know few fundamentals.

Error – Defect – Failure

Finding flaws in software has never been easy. Rather, it has always appeared to be challenging for the entire team, who are working on its successful completion. The words Effect, Defect & Failure seem to be same, but their meaning varies depending on the context/situation. Error leads to Defect, which further leads to Failure. It is a chained process which has to be rectified in a little while to avoid business impacts.

Defect Life Cycle


The term ‘Error’ means human-made mistake/misconception related to design or a deviation from the actual business requirement. If the authorized person gathers client requirement erroneously, it is referred as Error.


The error in coding or logic part is referred as Defect/Fault/Bug. If the development team coded the mistakenly gathered requirement, it results in a fault.


Failure means any deviation from the desired result. The fault made in coding leads to unexpected results that are different from the end user expectation. In that case, we say the project landed in ‘FAILURE.’ 

Defect Life Cycle

Defect life cycle has many stages from open/new until closed or re-opened and it varies from project to project.

Defect Life Cycle

It looks arduous, but if you consider these significant steps, it is quick and easy to find and eliminate a bug/defect. The whole process is explained with different scenarios:


Scenario One

             NEW                                                                                              ASSIGNED


The moment a Test Engineer finds a bug, he should raise the defect with the status ‘Open/New.’ The development team will validate the defect and assign it to a developer changing the status to ‘Assigned.’ The developer will fix the issue and changes the status to ‘Fixed.’ The test engineer performs testing, and if the issue is resolved, he will change the status to ‘Close’ otherwise to ‘Re-open.’

Scenario Two

             NEW                                                                                           DUPLICATE


Sometimes the defect status is mentioned as ‘Duplicate.’ Duplicate defect means the same issue is raised by person A and person B.

NOTE- There is a contrary to this scenario. If a defect has been raised and closed in the past and if the same defect arises in the future, then it is called as ‘New Defect.’

Scenario Three

             NEW                                                                                              INVALID


Invalid/Rejected are nearly similar words. If the developer team finds that when a defect raised by test engineer is invalid, then the developer will change the status as ‘Reject.’

Scenario Four

             NEW                                                                                             PCR/RFE


Product change request or Request for enhancement is considered when there is a need for enhancement type. This may not be determined as defect. For example, let’s consider Gmail application. It has multiple features, and one of that is deleting multiple emails at a time. If this feature is not there, the test engineer should raise a request for enhancement not as a defect.

Scenario Five

             NEW                                                                                          POSTPONED


If a defect is decided to be fixed in the next release, it is stated as ‘Postponed/Deferred.’ The reason to postpone the bug may be like low priority bug, lack of time or the bug may not have a major impact on the software.

Scenario Six

             NEW                                                                                           CANNOT BE FIXED


The possible reason for this situation to arise is more of technology related. Each and every language (JAVA, C, C++, .NET……etc) has their own limitation. So, due to these limitations, this kind of scenario may arise. The other reason may be, the cost of fixing the defect is more than moving with the defect.


Defect tracking and management are the important aspects of Testing/Development. If dealt properly within time, it saves a lot of time and also increases the productivity.

About Rohit Kishore Sinha

Rohit Sinha is working at Vmoksha Technologies as an Associate Business Analyst. His zeal towards learning new technologies, allowed him to be a part of Digital Marketing team. His enjoys sketching, painting, and photography.

3 comments on “DEFECT LIFE CYCLE

  1. Rajesh Kumar Sahu

    Hi Rohit,

    Nice One!

    You are working with the Pre-sale team and wrote a blog in #Testing. Really Awesome: your interest towards different technology.

    Awaiting for next blog…

  2. Aditya

    Very educative and nice article, the author has worked hard for this piece.

  3. Satindra Kumar Sinha

    Nice and informative article!!!

    It helped me to understood some of the concepts that was not so clear to me for long.
    Very well written and helping many like me with your writings.

    Thanks Rohit and hope to read many more such blogs from you..

    My best wishes!

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