Error severity or defect severity in testing is the degree of impact of the defect or defect on the application being tested. A higher impact of the error/failure on the functionality of the system results in a higher severity level. The quality assurance engineer usually determines the severity of the defect/failure.
Priority is defined as the order in which faults are fixed. The higher the priority, the faster the error should be fixed. Defects that render a software system unusable are more serious than errors that cause minor software malfunctions.
Difference between Severity and Priority
|Defect Priority has defined the order in which the developer should resolve a defect
|Defect Severity is defined as the degree of impact that a defect has on the operation of the product
|Priority is categorized into three typesLowMediumHigh
|Severity is categorized into five typesCriticalMajorModerateMinorCosmetic
|Priority is associated with scheduling
|Severity is associated with functionality or standards
|Priority indicates how soon the bug should be fixed
|Severity indicates the seriousness of the defect in the product functionality
|Priority of defects is decided in consultation with the manager/client
|QA engineer determines the severity level of the defect
|Priority is driven by business value
|Severity is driven by functionality
|Its value is subjective and can change over some time depending on the change in the project situation
|Its value is objective and less likely to change
|High priority and low severity status indicates, the defect has to be fixed on immediate bases but does not affect the application
|High severity and low priority status indicate defect has to be fixed but not on immediate bases
|Priority status is based on customer requirements
|Severity status is based on the technical aspect of the product
|During UAT the development team fixes defects based on priority
|During SIT, the development team will fix defects based on the severity and then the priority
A real-life example of Severity and Priority
Let’s take an example of two patients reached a doctor at the same time:
Patient A: He is suffering from a cold.
Patient B: He is suffering from chest pain.
Now the doctor needs to decide on whom he should attend first. Based on the issue both patients are facing doctor will first diagnose Patient B as the issue with him is of high severity and the priority of Patient B will become high.
Example of Severity and Priority
|A very low severity with a high priority
|A front-facing webpage is not showing the company logo.
|A very high severity with a high priority
|A customer order a Web Camera but in the backend two duplicate orders are created and sent to the delivery center for processing.
|A very low severity with a low priority
|A typo on a webpage that is not front facing to the customer.
|A very high severity with a low priority
|An admin page that is showing server error but is not a very commonly used feature by all admins.
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