Functional Show Stopper comes as one parameter of 'Priority'. I know Show Stopper.. but what is Functional Show Stopper ? What kind of issues can be categorized under this ?

  • 1
    At what point is this term used? During Requirements Review, development or testing?
    – MichaelF
    Commented Aug 8, 2011 at 13:27
  • This term is used during bug reporting ie. after testing. Commented Aug 9, 2011 at 9:25

6 Answers 6


This sounds like, to me, simply a "shop term", something someone came up with in a particular location or locale. A quick Google search didn't really find much of anything to categorize this term or define it in a global way.

So, a "show stopper", as I understand it, is a bug that makes the software product and/or feature being released critically unstable to the point that releasing it would cause the application and/or feature to be just a load of useless bits sitting on the hard drive. So, a "functional show stopper", while it might not totally trash the application, would mean that the bug gets in the way of the intended functionality in such a way that a particular function or feature does not meet requirements and is even un-usable in it's current state. It might not completely destabilize the application but it essentially will mean that the designated feature of the application might as well not be there.

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    I'm guessing "shop term" is a "shop term" that you came up with in your particular location or locale? :-) A quick Google search came up with nothing but offers to buy life insurance.
    – corsiKa
    Commented Aug 8, 2011 at 17:48
  • You're funny, @glow, but looks aren't everything. ;-) Commented Aug 8, 2011 at 17:51
  • I'd admit that it may be used only by my organization. We category issues as F.Show Stopper which works in other way fails to do its intended purpose, but is a show stopper issue. For eg. interest amount calculation is wrong in leap year. I just want to know whether this term is widely used everywhere. Commented Aug 9, 2011 at 10:45
  • Never heard of it before, and it seems I am not the only one. Many terms are localized or shop terms, its just a matter of figuring out which.
    – MichaelF
    Commented Aug 9, 2011 at 12:52

I'd agree with Tristaan that "functional show stopper" sounds like a term that your organization uses for internal tracking purposes.

I'd suggest you start by asking people you're working with for a clarification of how you're expected to use the term. It could mean anything from "this function is unusable" to "this is a show-stopper bug that is triggered by a function" (compared to a "performance show-stopper" like "it takes half an hour to load the application and data entry is accepted at a rate of one character every two seconds") (Don't laugh - I've had to work with applications like that...)


According to Wikipedia the definition of Showstopper:

A hardware or software bug of extreme severity which requires an immediate fix

What's a "Functional Show Stopper"?

Maybe a broken module which needs an immediate fix.

Where do you see this term? You wrote "Functional Show Stopper comes as one parameter of 'Priority'." Sorry, I don't understand this sentence.


I heard about this term 4 years back from now in one of the Trials defects triage call. Show Stopper/Functional Show Stopper is used to categorise defects which makes the entire system unusable i.e. there is no workaround and must be fixed before Live deployment. E.g. Defect Summary: Set top box does not respond at all and a black screen is displayed post software upgrade.

Impact: Users are unable to use any feature. Reboot does not resolve the issue. Code downgrade is not supported, hence only way to resolve this issue is to replace the affected box with a new one.

As mentioned is the above example, there is no way post code upgrade to recover the same Set top box.


My understanding of the common use of functional show stopper is that is about an issue that affects a key piece of end user functionality and is visible to end users.
For that reason alone it is a show-stopper on the release.

This is as opposed to other issues such as test failures, log storage issues, minor ui layout issues, background image issues, javascript organization and framework, etc. which may or may not be show-stoppers but either way are not about the applications functionality for end users.


A show Stopper, refers to an issue that essentially stops the user from progressing past their current point in the application or game, essentially stopping the show. Imagine someone running on a theatre stage in the middle of a performance shouting fire, this is the analogy. So, for Functional terms these are normally Freezes and Crashes when we talk about software, of the 100% reproducibility characteristic most commonly, or any defect or issue that prevents the player/user from progressing.

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