Issue severity measures the impact that an issue found by a software testing team has on the software development project. Generally, cases may be classified as minor, normal, major, or critical. The classification criterion for each issue depends on the particular software project.
Issue severity helps stakeholders and testers prioritize issues found during the testing process. Critical issues should prioritize the time and resources required to fix them.
There are several criteria used to classify issues:
* How often the issue may occur;
* What components are affected by the issue;
* Whether the issue affects application security or not;
* How likely other issues may be caused by this one;
* How much time and resources will be needed to fix the issue;
* What is the potential loss resulting from this issue occurring in a production environment, etc.
A Severity 1 problem is a critical problem that affects your entire site. This is the highest severity level that can be assigned to a problem. For example, your entire site goes down, and all functionality is lost.
A Severity 2 problem is an urgent problem that affects some functionality but not the entire site. This is the second-highest severity level that can be assigned to a problem. For example, email functionality is down for some users.
A Severity 3 problem is a non-urgent issue with your service or product. This is the third-highest severity level that can be assigned to a problem. For example, some of your pages are not displaying properly in Internet Explorer 7.
A Severity 4 problem is an issue you want to address, but it does not impact your service or product functionality. This is the lowest severity level that can be assigned to a problem. For example, you have a suggestion regarding the product documentation or an enhancement request for future releases.