Convincing Your Product Manager to Fix the Bug

defect tracking software

There’s nothing worse than seeing customer complaints piling up in your inbox about your product not working properly. That’s when you know that there’s a bug that needs to be fixed ASAP. But how do you convince your product manager to make this bug a priority? Well, let’s find out.

To convince your product manager, you need the support of both qualitative and quantitative data to strengthen your case.

Put the Numbers Forward

Present your PM with the statistics regarding how many users are being affected by the problem. Quantify the impact of the bug on conversions, engagements, etc. Using the exact figures is not necessary if you have the estimated values. The purpose of assigning numerical values to the bug is to generate discussion and help the PM to triage importance relative to other priorities.

Speak to the Heart

Presenting quantifiable data is a good approach but most of the time, it’s not enough. As human beings, individuals (professional individuals included) often tend to get more affected by single relatable stories rather than cognitive facts and figures. Share customers’ experiences with your PM. Acquiring a defect tracking software is not enough. With the help of tools such as FullStory that support the session replay feature, you can return to the session of any user and replay exactly what their experience was. This is a powerful way to encourage an empathic response from your PM, communicating frustration in a way that goes beyond raw data. This feature can also help PMs track exactly what chain of events led to the bug.

Data combined with the power of empathy make your PM’s job much easier in assessing whether the bug needs to get fixed or not.

Combat Recency Bias with Empathetic Distance

Sometimes you might feel a customer’s pain and feel the need to interrupt your PM and engineering team to let them know about the bug. But for less critical matters, it’s important to put an empathetic distance between you and the individual cases. Empathetic distance is the time between when you first document a bug and when you report it to the product team. This helps balance out our innate tendency towards recency bias. Empathic distance will help you to prioritize the changes which will have the most impact. This can be implemented by a good defect tracking software.

And If the Bug Doesn’t Get Fixed…

Not all the bugs that you bring up to your PM will get fixed. When a bug gets passed over, close the loop with your customers. Instead of beating around the bush, be honest and straightforward with your customers. They’ll thank you for it. Let them know you aren’t going to fix the problem and demonstrate that you care about their experience by offering your continued support. While it’s not what they necessarily want to hear, knowing their issue was addressed goes a long way to show appreciation for their commitment to your product.

Author Bio:

Ray Parker is a Senior Marketing Consultant with a knack for writing the latest news in tech, quality assurance, software development and testing. With a decade of experience working in the tech industry, Ray now dabbles out of his New York office.