Defect tracking workflow is the life cycle of a defect. It describes the states of the defect from when it is created to when it is closed.

There are two main defect tracking workflow models: 1. Identify defect ONLY with “State”; 2. Identify defect with both “State” and “Resolution”. You can set up a defect tracking workflow system with either of them, but which one is best for you?

Let’s set up a defect tracking workflow with the most common defect states:

  • New
  • Open
  • Reopen
  • Fixed
  • Invalid
  • Duplicated
  • Deferred/Suspended
  • By Design
  • Won’t Fix
  • Cannot Reproduce/Need More Information
  • Closed

1. Defect tracking workflow I: identify defect ONLY with “States”

Defect Tracking Workflow 1

Defects Identified By States

2. Defect tracking workflow II: identify defect with both “States” and “Resolution”.

Defect Tracking Workflow 2

States and Resolution


Comparing defect tracking workflow II with I, it is:

  1. Easier to calculate defect statistics: Defect end state is “Closed”, if you identify defects with States only, it is difficult to make statistics since all defects are marked as “Closed”. Instead, if you identify defect with Status and Resolution together, this problem can be resolved easily.
  2. Shorten defect tracking process: If Resolution is included in the defect tracking workflow, the process will be clear and the whole tracking process will be shortened. QA can have clear indication to work on “Resolved” defects while Developers work on “Open” defects.
  3. Easier to expand defect States: If more states are required in some special projects, you ONLY need to add more “Resolution” for them without any changing the “State”.

On our projects, we use defect tracking workflow II so that we can save time and make our defect tracking easier and more quantitative.