bug severity and priority in testing
March 10, 2023

How to Determine Bug Severity vs. Priority in Testing

Continuous Testing

In the mobile app testing landscape, testers are faced with the ever-present task of finding and eliminating bugs in their applications. Establishing severity and priority in testing is one of the most important components of the software development life cycle as a whole. 

The act of locating and removing bugs is referred to, sometimes interchangeably, as bug severity or bug priority. However, bug severity and priority are more nuanced terms that have different meanings. 

In this blog, we will explore bug severity vs. priority in testing and how bug severity and priority in testing work in tandem to enhance the testing process and the performance of applications. 


What Is Bug Severity?

Bug severity refers to the measurement of severity that a bug (or defect) has on the overall functionality of an app. 

Bug severity is measured on a scale:

  • Low severity The bug or defect will not significantly impact the overall functionality of the app.
  • Minor severity – The bug or defect may interrupt the app, causing it to behave in a less than optimal way, but it will not disrupt to full functionality of the app.
  • Major severity – The bug or defect will impact a large portion of the app’s features and functionality.
  • Critical severity – The bug or defect will be significant enough to negatively impact the overall functionality of the app, resulting in a complete system failure.

The level of bug severity determines how significant an impact the bug will have on the app. This leads us to next component in bug severity vs. priority: defining bug priority.


Related Reading: How to Debug Your Test Script With Perfecto >>


What Is Bug Priority?

Bug priority refers to the urgency with which a bug must be resolved. 

Bug priority takes into consideration the bug severity to determine how urgently a bug must be addressed. Like bug severity, bug priority is measured on a scale: 

  • Low priority The bug does not have to be fixed immediately. High and medium priority bugs should be addressed first. 
  • Medium priority – Typically, medium-priority bugs do not affect customers directly and therefore can be fixed in the normal course of testing and development.   
  • High priority – High priority bugs must be addressed immediately. They often affect the app’s functionality and impact customers and their user experience. They must take priority.  

Determining the level of bug severity can be subjective, as it is dependent on the perceived severity of a bug when compared to other bugs that may also arise. Severity and priority in testing must be looked at holistically to determine the best course of action. 


Bug Severity Vs. Priority in Testing 

When combined, establishing bug severity vs. priority refers to the overall impact of bugs and the order in which they must be addressed. Severity and priority in testing help testing teams develop a plan of action for locating and resolving bugs that fits into their schedule while also allowing them to fix the most high-impact bugs first. 

The following table further illustrates the main differences between severity and priority in testing:

bug severity vs. priority



Bottom Line

Determining bug severity and priority in testing is an important component of the software development life cycle. It is essential that testing teams identify and then classify bugs with the appropriate level of bug priority vs. severity to create and maintain apps that function optimally. 

When testing teams properly determine bug severity vs. priority, bugs can be addressed in an efficient and timely manner, allowing the app to function as desired for both customers and your bottom line.

With Perfecto, testing teams can find and fix bugs faster. By adopting the Perfecto platform, testing and dev teams will be able to prepare their applications for success in the following ways:

  • Move from manual to automated testing.
  • Execute parallel tests at scale. 
  • Gain access to fast and comprehensive reporting and analytics. 

Manual testing leaves room for bugs to leak into production. With Perfecto, testers can automate their tests, leaving room for them to focus their efforts elsewhere, while also eliminating the potential for bugs. 

Parallel testing with Perfecto allows teams to cover 80% of customer used platforms while running smoke tests early and often. Parallel testing gives testers multiple quality gates to ensure bugs are caught. 

Finally, with Perfecto’s comprehensive reporting and analytics, teams receive fast and actionable insights on defects, allowing them to complete testing more thoroughly in a shorter amount of time. 


Ensure your app is healthy and up to the task today by signing up for a free 14-day trial with Perfecto.

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