How do You Accurately Estimate the Time and Effort Required to Fix a Bug?

| Updated on February 6, 2024
Fix a Bug

Testing teams can receive several bugs during the evolution of a software system. They need to predict the fixing duration, as it helps them estimate the right efforts. Not only to predict the time but to choose the right cross-browser testing tools are equally significant. 

Different browsers interpret and deliver coding languages like JavaScript, CSS, HTML, etc., differently. Because of this, a website can behave or look diversely and can cause issues for users. This is why cross-browser testing becomes important before releasing software.

Thus, in this piece of information, you’ll find various approaches on how to accurately estimate the time and effort it will take for a bug-fixing. 

How to Calculate the Time and Effort to Fix a Bug?


(This graph shows the mobile app debugging suite market size and scope by year, in US$ millions). 

There are several aspects by which the days/months and effort to repair an error can be determined. Let’s take a look at some of them:

Understand the Error

The most critical part of the prediction of time and effort is to grasp everything about the error. Developers usually undervalue this step, but without knowing everything about that glitch, you can’t get it right. This step involves knowing the cause of the error and how colossal it is. 

Collect as much information as you can, analyze the severity, and keep records of the steps taken. This will help in determining the root cause and possible solutions. 

Allocation of Tasks

This step involves mapping out the plan of action. Based on the resources and skills, the group has, the tasks should be allotted. Depending on how big the problem is, developers need to perform numerous tasks such as debugging, coding, testing, reviewing, deploying, and documenting. 

It facilitates testers to break down the issue into smaller, manageable parts. And, in calculating the approximate period and effort required to get a specific work done. 

Utilize Historical Records

Utilizing old data is like getting clues and tips from your old mistakes to rectify the present one. There is certain information you can gather from the old records, such as how long it took to fix bugs like this, any similarities between the two, etc.

This will improve the calculation of evaluated time, identify any similar patterns, and let you compare with past glitches. 

Updating Status

As the team keeps working on repairing the defect, updating regular status about it, has many advantages. It enhances task visibility, promotes team collaboration, and streamlines management. 

It is also very important to timely update stakeholders and product owners so that they know about the changes and delays, it enhances transparency.

Learning from Feedback

One of the most essential parts is seeking feedback and learning from it. Ask for feedback from the stakeholders, product owners, other testers, and consumers. It will assist the group in identifying the areas for improvement and will avoid making the same mistakes.

Many online testing tools like LambdaTest can also be utilized to test and analyze the areas for progression.  

Comparing the Estimated and Actual Time Taken

The last step is to compare the days/months your team estimated and the actual time it took to rectify the bug. It is also necessary to update the old data with new exploration to use it in the future.

Do You Know?
By 2030, the debugging software market is projected to reach $2022 million, growing at a CAGR of 13.66% from 2023 to 2030. 

Should You Estimate Bugs?

In the process of fixing a glitch, the most time-consuming thing is to identify what’s wrong. Since, most of the time, you and your team spent on figuring out where they went wrong, you can’t approximate the period and effort till then. Estimation might work for big and unpredictable errors, but not successful for small ones. 

Utilizing old input, and placing rough guesses can work well for small problems. Try to work in the most efficient way possible and not waste time and resources making it perfect. 


In most cases, one of the developers usually knows about the error that occurred and how to fix it. While some defects are small and predictable, some might be complex and completely unpredictable. But poor judgment is always better than no estimation. 

Always prioritize the bugs based on their impact on functionality, risk of loss of data, and how many users it is impacting. 

Also Read: Best Practices for Preventing Reintroduction of Bugs into Your Codebase

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