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Defect Reporting Template

Software Testing Templates
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While executing test cases, testers follow the steps provided and check whether the actual behavior of the application matches with the expected behavior. In case, there are some issues with the expected output, a defect is logged. Defects are generally logged in a defect tracking tool along with all the information required to reproduce that issue. But sometimes testers have to share the logged defects with the Project Manager, clients or Business Analysts. In such cases, a defect report template is used. In this post, we would talk about the different components of a defect report and why to use templates for defect reporting?

Defect Reporting Template

Helping Testers Sample Defect Reporting Sheet

Why is Defect Report Templates used?

Before going any further lets first find out why testers need a defect reporting template. Almost every tester log defects in a defect tracking tool. The defects contain all the vital information and their statuses are changed as the bug reaches different stages of the bug life cycle. So, if we already have a defect tracking tool in place, why spend time in creating and maintaining a separate defect report? The reasons are as follows:

  • Sometimes clients and product owners can ask for a list of bugs from a certain application module, between a specific time frame or with certain “Priority” or “Severity”. In such cases, the test lead applies the required filter and extracts the list of bugs and shares it using the defect report template.
  • Certain projects have a specific template for defect report, which the team must use while sharing issues/ defects to the client. Such processes compel the team to use such templates.
  • Also, certain team members might not have valid access to the defect tracking tool. For them, the only way to refer defects is by using the defect report.

In many teams testers simply export the bug list in a proper format and forwards it to the respective entities. But if the project demands a robust defect reporting template, you must create one and fill in the issue details in it.

Different components of a Defect Report

Most defect reports consist of two primary sections. The summary section and the defect list.

Figure 1: Summary section of defect reporting template

Summary Section

In the summary section, a brief overview of the defects is provided. It is the first page/ sheet in the report and provides a reader a quick glance of all the defects encountered. The different entries in the summary section are:

  • Project Name – The project name along with the logo (preferably) should be included in the report
  • Total bugs encountered – The total number of bugs encountered during the current cycle or release would be mentioned here. The bug count mostly acts as an indicator which justifies the stability of the application, and how prone it is to threats or bugs. Ideally, if development and testing go hand in hand, the total bug count should reduce as the final release date approaches.
  • Bugs in Open/ Resolved/ Closed state – Bug count in different states are also highlighted in the summary section.
  • Open Bugs having High/ Medium/ Low priority – Count of high priority issues are mentioned in this section.
  • Release version – The release version of the bugs listed in the report should be mentioned here.
  • Published date – The date when the defect report was generated should be noted.


Figure 2: Different components of defect report

Defects logged

In this section, you would mention the different defects that were identified in the cycle. The different components of the defects are.

  • Defect ID – The defect ID is retrieved from the defect tracking tool. The defect ID must be mentioned correctly in the report, as the defect ID would be later used to search for the defect on the defect tracking tool. You can even hyperlink the actual defect’s URL to the Defect ID for ease of use.
  • Product/ Module name – The product or the sub-module name is mentioned here.
  • Release version – The release version tells at which sprint or releases the defect was identified.
  • Summary – The summary section gives a brief overview of the defect. The summary should be a single sentence and should explain what the defect is.
  • Description – Any further description of the defect can be mentioned here. If the defect is environment or device specific, the same would be mentioned here.
  • Steps to Reproduce – Detailed steps to reproduce the defect is listed in this section. The steps should be clear and descriptive enough so that anyone going through the report should be able to replicate it at their end or make out the chain of events responsible for triggering the defect.
  • Expected Result – The ideal result or output of the steps mentioned would be mentioned here.
  • Actual Result – The actual result observed after executing the steps is written here.
  • Defect Severity – The defect severity is set by the tester who has logged the defect.
  • Defect Priority – The defect priority is set by the project manager or the test lead after evaluating the impact the defect would bring on the application as a whole. The priorities of the open defects are also listed on the defect summary sheet.
  • Assigned to – The developer to whom the defect is assigned is mentioned here. The assigned developer is responsible to fix the issue and retest it in the dev environment before changing the defect status to resolved.
  • Status – The current status of the defect is mentioned here.

How to make Defect Report effective?

Even though defect reports are mostly exported from the defect tracking tool, and are imported into the template, you must make sure that the reported defects are logged properly and can be easily understood by developers, stakeholders, and clients. Here are some guidelines to create a detailed defect report.

  • Provide detailed information – The information regarding the defects must be complete. They must be detailed so that anyone going through the defect can make out what the issue is.
  • Write steps which are easy to understand – The defect steps should be easy to understand. You should avoid using ornamental words and keep the sentences short and to the point.
  • Review the report – After importing the defects in the defect report, you must review and proofread it. As the document would be shared with clients and other higher management, you must eliminate any and all errors that might reside in the report.

For your better understanding, we have provided a dummy defect reporting template which you can use for your projects. To better understand each component of a defect report, we have also shared the defect reporting template of HelpingTesters for a particular release.

Defect Reporting Template

Helping Testers Sample Defect Reporting Sheet


  • The defect reporting template is usually shared with the team, clients and product owner before a release.
  • The report gives a rough idea of the current status of the project and how well the application is performing.
  • The defect report must have a summary section which would give an overview of the defects listed within, along with a detailed list of defects encountered.
  • The defect report should be detailed and must be easy to understand.
  • Defect reports can either be shared as a spreadsheet or as an HTML attachment over mail.

About the author

arindam bandyopadhyay author

Arindam Bandyopadhyay is an automation tester with over 5 years of experience in software testing. While during the day he juggles between Eclipse and spreadsheets, at night he lets his fingers do the talking as he writes about anything and everything his paradoxical mind desires.

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