How Do You Handle A Pool Of Unrelated Small Bugs In Scrum?

GoRetro Team
January 29, 2023
Posted on
This is some text inside of a div block.

What Are Unrelated Bugs In Scrum?

Scrum teams may sometimes encounter a phenomenon known as "unrelated bugs."

Unrelated bugs are software defects that are discovered during the testing phase of the development process and are not directly related to the current sprint or iteration. These bugs can cause significant delays and negatively impact the progress of the project.

The main reason why unrelated bugs can be a problem in Scrum is because they are not part of the sprint backlog. This means that they are not included in the sprint goal, and the team may not have the capacity to address them during the sprint. As a result, they become a burden that needs to be resolved outside of the sprint.

What Causes Unrelated Bugs In Scrum?

Unrelated bugs can occur in Scrum for several reasons. 

Unidentified Bug

Firstly, as the name suggests, they are not related to the work being done in the current sprint or iteration. This means that they may not be identified until later in the development process, when the team is testing the product.

Tech Change

Another reason why unrelated bugs can occur is due to changes in requirements or technology. As software development is an iterative process, requirements can change, and new technology can be introduced. This can lead to bugs that were not anticipated during the planning phase.

Neglected Testing

Unrelated bugs can also occur due to a lack of proper testing and quality assurance processes. When teams do not have robust testing practices in place, it is more likely that bugs will go unnoticed and become unrelated.

How To Handle Unrelated Bugs In Scrum

Once an unrelated bug has been identified, it is important to take a systematic approach to fixing it. Here are the steps that teams can follow to resolve unrelated bugs:

  1. Reproduce the bug: The first step is to reproduce the bug, in order to understand the cause and the impact of the issue.
  2. Prioritize the bug: Teams should prioritize the bug based on its severity and impact, estimate time to resolve and assign it to the appropriate team member for resolution.
  3. Investigate the cause: The team member responsible for fixing the bug should investigate the cause and identify the root of the issue.
  4. Develop a solution: Based on the investigation, the team member should develop a solution that addresses the bug and eliminates it.
  5. Test the solution: The solution should be tested thoroughly to ensure that it resolves the bug and does not cause any new issues.
  6. Deploy the fix: Once the solution has been tested and verified, it can be deployed to production.
  7. Monitor and evaluate: Teams should monitor the resolution of the bug and evaluate the effectiveness of their processes to identify areas for improvement.

When working with unrelated bugs, it is important to be proactive and transparent. Teams should aim to minimize their impact by using the techniques and best practices mentioned above, and by keeping stakeholders informed about the status of the bugs and the steps being taken to resolve them. Additionally, teams should continuously monitor and evaluate their processes to identify areas for improvement and ensure that they are effectively handling unrelated bugs.

How To Reduce The Likelihood Of Unrelated Bugs

Mitigating the impact of unrelated bugs in the first place is critical in becoming a productive team. Teams that identify defects early in the development process, before they become major roadblocks, will save time, money and effort.

Here are some ways to reduce the likelihood of unrelated bugs:

  1. Sprint retrospectives: Reviewing the team’s processes in the sprint retrospective is a great way to reduce unrelated bugs. By opening up about your processes it’s likely you’ll find that your way of working was conducive to unrelated bugs, and by sharing with the team you can collectively create changes for the future, reducing the likelihood of unrelated bugs. 
  2. Bug triage process: Teams can establish a bug triage process to prioritize and manage unrelated bugs. This process should involve identifying the most critical bugs, assigning them to the appropriate team members, and ensuring that they are resolved in a timely manner.
  3. Team Collaboration and communication: Teams should work together to understand the causes of unrelated bugs and collaborate on solutions. This can include working with stakeholders and other departments to ensure that everyone is aligned on how to best handle unrelated bugs.
  4. Continuous integration and continuous testing: By continuously integrating code and testing throughout the development process, teams can identify and resolve unrelated bugs early on, before they become bigger problems.
  5. Regular code reviews: Regular code reviews can help to identify and resolve unrelated bugs early on, and also has the added bonus of improving code quality as well. Using code coverage tools can be an efficient and effective way of conducting code reviews in your team.


In the end, effectively handling unrelated bugs is an essential aspect of successful software development and delivering high-quality products in Scrum. If left unchecked, unrelated bugs can pose a significant challenge for teams in Scrum. But by taking a proactive and systematic approach to handling them, teams can minimize their impact and continue to deliver high-quality products.

Join thousands of companies

Start for free - update any time
Joining as an organisation? Contact sales