There’s a great post on Coding Horror about triaging bugs before fixing them. As the title of the article states, “Not All Bugs Are Worth Fixing”.
Things the article mentions you should consider:
- Severity: When this bug happens, how bad is the impact?
- Frequency: How often does this bug happen?
- Cost: How much effort would be required to fix this bug?
- Risk: What is the risk of fixing this bug?
And here’s a very valid complaint about testers: testers aren't real users. I'd give a bug from a customer ten times the weight of a bug reported by a tester.
Of course, it all depends on what you’re doing too. I’d say there’s a 5th factor, above, which is what this the potential cost of not fixing the bug. You could think of this as risk, as well. If you’re designing missile systems or tools to aid in open-heart surgery, costs of not fixing the bug are very high. If you’re designing some software for a scorekeeper’s table at a basketball game, the cost of not fixing the bug is probably rather low, as long as there’s a way to manually enter the score again if there’s an issue.
Anyway, read the article.