What's difference between defect severity and priority?

Some defect tracking tools have priority and severity, but I don't know what is difference between priority and severity? Why we need these two fields when reporting a defect?



  1. Phuoc Nguyen

    Hi Aditya,
    In my opinion:
    The severity of a bug is a measure of how important the bug is to the end user: how much it breaks, how badly it breaks things, how difficult it is to get work done with this bug in place. How critical defect is and what is the impact of the defect on the whole system’s functionality?
    The priority of the bug is a measure of how important the bug is to the development team. This will take into effect the severity, but also the development time and effort, and how much impact fixing it would have on the rest of the product.
    In my real case, I have some examples of myself for sorting defects with priority and serverity:
    + High priority, high severity: Any defects due to which the testing cannot continue at any cost or causes a severe system failure fall under this category. Let’s say the system require user clicks on the button, then the feature F1 will work, but after clicking, nothing happens.
    + Low priority, high severity: Defects which have to be fixed but not immediately. Let’s say during ad-hoc testing, I found 1 bug only happen on Chrome version 38.0.0 which’s not popular any more because the 3rd party system using is deprecated. In such case, we will classified this issue into another line, as normally end users will be expected to have a higher version.

    Above is just my opinion based on my experience, please help to feedback if you have any idea.
    Many thanks,

  2. Thanh Huynh


    I think Phuoc provided thorough answers. One thing I can add is that more often testers only report the severity of defects but not the priority. Priority is often decided by management after bug triage/bug review meeting.

  3. Vikosters

    The dominant apparatus tolerate to enter the important information of listening device which helps to convey the correct steps of the bug & which supply the complete information to team. So developer can get an exact idea of its Severity. In the Bug Tracking the conditions Priority & Severity are used to share the importance of a bug among the team .

  4. Thewellis

    Severity is the impact, priority is the risk. High impact might be a complete system crash but might be given a low priority as it only happens once in a blue moon. This way you can prioritise bugs against risk rather than hazard.

    Of note it was a blue moon last night.

  5. Thanh Huynh


    I like your clarification. Excellent!

  6. gosai jahnvi

    Severity is defined as the degree of impact that the Defect has on the development or operation of the component application being tested.

    Priority is defined as the order in which the defect is to be fixed. The higher the priority, the sooner the defect is resolved

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