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A Defect Prioritization Method Based on the Risk Priority Number

November 2013 White Paper
Julie B. Cohen, Robert Ferguson, Will Hayes

This paper describes a technique that helps organizations address and resolve conflicting views and create a better value system for defining releases.

Publisher:

Software Engineering Institute

Abstract

Most software systems have some "defects" that are identified by users.  Some of these are truly defects in that the requirements were not properly implemented; some are caused by changes made to other systems; still others are requests for enhancement – improvements that would improve the users' experience.  These "defects" are generally stored in a database and are worked off in a series of incrementally delivered updates. For most systems, it is not financially feasible to fix all of the concerns in the near term, and indeed some issues may never be addressed. The government program office has an obligation to choose wisely among a set of competing defects to be implemented, especially in a financially constrained environment.

This white paper provides a description of a generalized technique that could be used with any type of system to assist the program office in addressing and resolving the conflicting views and creating a better value system for defining releases.