In large organizations it might take quite some time until a defect report from either the product support organization or from other divisions gets to you. To the one who should then find the cause, fix the fault and test the solution. All these must be done often within two weeks or sometimes even faster in case of high priority cases. If you consider that the logs provided might not be sufficient for fault analysis, you might need to create automated test cases, you have several high priority issues to analyze and you also might need testing in a life-like environment, considering only a few of the possible tasks, the available time is rather short. Depending on your organization there might be 1st-level, 2nd-level, 3rd-level or even 4th-level support which the report must pass through. Besides this often the defect report is created but not forwarded immediately as further actions are still need to be done like collecting more data or doing a deeper analysis by the defect report submitter. Then when the defect report is submitted to the support organization at every stage one will do an analysis and if the problem cannot be resolved the request is forwarded to the next support level. If we consider that serious defects must be fixed in a short notice you must improve your processes in order to be able to cope with those short deadlines. So where can you save some time or even few days? Actually I would suggest you to develop a tool which could monitor your organization’s defect management system and look for both defect reports under preparation and defect reports on their way. The tool should filter out all potential faults on the product area for which your organization is responsible for and this way might be of interest to you. The search mechanism can be extended with some intelligence to identify possible known or fixed faults. Then the list of relevant defect candidates could be pre-analyzed by your team. You might not have time to do a deep analysis but often identifying and requesting missing information prior the defect report arrives to your organization will give you a few extra days. Also if you have some spare capacity you may even start analyzing the defect or start preparing automated test cases. With only minor investments you can improve your lead time significantly and raise customer satisfaction.

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