Defect Priority

    DEFECT PRIORITY, also known as Bug Priority, indicates the importance or urgency of fixing a defect. Though priority may be initially set by the Software Tester, it is usually finalized by the Project/ Product Manager.

    ISTQB Definition

    • priority: The level of (business) importance assigned to an item, e.g. defect.


    Priority can be categorized into the following levels:

    • Urgent: Must be fixed immediately / in the next build.
    • High: Must be fixed in any of the upcoming builds but should be included in the release.
    • Medium: May be fixed after the release / in the next release.
    • Low: May or may not be fixed at all.

    Priority is also denoted as P1 for Urgent, P2 for High and so on.


    Priority is quite a subjective decision; do not take the categorizations above as authoritative. However, consider the following while determining the priority:

    • Business need for fixing the defect
    • Defect Severity / Impact
    • Defect Probability / Visibility
    • Available Resources (Developers to fix and Testers to verify the fixes)
    • Available Time (Time for fixing, verifying the fixes and performing regression tests after the verification of the fixes)

    Defect Priority needs to be managed carefully in order to avoid product instability, especially when there is a large of number of defects.

    Last Updated on September 6, 2020 by STF