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I cannot figure out the logic behind the following formula:

Defect distribution= (Total number of defects / Functional Area) * Phase * Status

How can I multiply by phase and status? How would the result make sense if I did? What would the unit be then?

This formula is based on the Zephyr tool support:

http://www.getzephyr.com/resources/whitepapers/qa-metrics-value-testing-metrics-within-software-development

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I agree: that equation is confusing. I think what they're trying to say is that the defect distribution is a set of four-tuples of the form (functional area, test phase, bug status, total defects in that function area for that test phase and that bug status).

Now, imagine a table with those four columns. You could take different slices through the data to infer things about your project and your test process.

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  • I still somehow cannot see it :( If you read the text they provided, I just do not understand how they derive anything mentioned there. – John V Nov 1 '16 at 19:30
  • The best way to find out what Zephyr meant by that is to ask Zephyr. – user246 Nov 1 '16 at 20:55
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It is not uncommon for software engineering metrics to completely ignore the units on either side of the equation, lifting two fingers at the concept of dimensional analysis. The whitepaper describes the metric as

Though somewhat simplistic, a basic way of looking at defect distribution

I would suggest you follow their advice there if you want to use their metric. There are other ways of tracking the spread of defects across a project lifecycle if you should prefer to use them.

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