What is Difference between Severity and Priority? Give example for High Severity and Low priority


Most common question in interview, difference between Severity and priority and examples. Severity and Priority are two distinct terms. lets discuss it.

first we see the what is Severity and Priority

Severity : It is term which describe the how the defect is impacting the functionality of the product or software under test.

we can Severity into several parts depending on the impact of defect on the functionality. most used Severity types are

1) Blocker : application is not working/ major functionality is completely brown. tester can not do further testing. tester is blocked.

2) Critical : some part of functionality is brown, tester cannot test some part of functionality and there is no workaround.

3) Major : in this type, defects are logical defects which does not block any functionality. major type usually contains functional and major UI defects.

4) Minor : it mostly contains UI defects, minor usability defects. defects which does not harm to application under test


Priority :  It is term indicates the importance of the defect and when it should gets addressed or fixed.

Like Severity, Priority also has different types. Priority is defined on the basis of business impact, development efforts and some other factors.

1) High : it has high business value, end user can not work, unless the defect gets fixed. in this case Priority should be High, means immediate fix of the defect.

2) Medium: end user can work using workaround but some functionality end user cannot use and that functionality is not regularly used by the user.

3) Low: no or very less impact on end user


Difference between Severity and Priority:

1) Severity should be defined by QA  whereas Priority should be Defined by Dev/ Delivery manager

2) Severity driven by  functionality whereas priority driven by the business value.

3)  Severity describe the how the defect is impacting the functionality of the product or software under test and Priority indicates the importance of the defect and when it should gets addressed or fixed.


High Priority and High Severity: 

Major functionality failure like log in is not working, crashes in basic workflow of the software are the best example of High priority and High Severity

1)  Application crashed while opening

2) Website home page failed to load.


High Priority and Low Severity:

1) Spelling mistake on menu names, clients names or any important name which is getting highlighted to the end user.

there is very common mistakes people were doing while giving the examples, they give example of logo and logo misspelled  this is wrong example. it comes under high priority and high severity. Logo and company name is identity of the company or organisation then how it should be low severity?

Tester should be judgmental while assigning the Severity to the defect

Low  Priority and high Severity:

1) Crashed in application if end user do some weird steps which are not usual or invalid steps.

this is all about Severity and Priority, let me know if anyone has questions on it.

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