Scrum: How to deal with bugs during a Sprint?

Lately I got a question how a development team should deal with bugs which are found by the development team during a Sprint in progress?

In my opinion it’s not good to postpone fixing bugs to a later date or other Sprint. Bugs should always be fixed as soon as possible before other development work may continue. In the long run it will always be cheaper to fix bugs as they come. Putting them off to the (near) future may result in a more complex bug and will also require a larger context switch for the person who will be responsible for fixing the bug. Also make sure that bugs are visible for the entire development team. If you are using work items, be sure to create a work item for the new bug and enforce that the developer associates this work item to his check-in/changeset that will fix the bug. Maximum traceability! A good reflex to a new bug would also hold in to create a new (unit) test for regression testing in next releases.

One Response to Scrum: How to deal with bugs during a Sprint?

  1. Stijn Guillemyn says:

    If it’s a bug in production code, you should also take customer satisfaction into account.

    To me the goal should always be to provide a fix within 1 business day.

    This will limit the amount of overhead a bug can produce in terms of administration and follow-up actions (communication, tracking status, checking if a reported bug is a known issue, …).

    Of course, this only works if you haven’t already built a backlog of open bugs which you should address in the (near) future. If you have, it might be a good idea to introduce one or more bugfix iterations where you shift your focus from adding functionality to stabilizing your product and improving the things it already does.

    I guess most clients prefer a stable product with some core functionality in which that product does a great job over a product that does everything but does a poor job or where every action has an unpredictable outcome.

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