Drawing a State Diagram

Draw a state diagram on a whiteboard or paper. Make sure to draw each state in a box with plenty of space between each state.

Draw each legal action between states as a line with a single arrow head. Each direction is a distinct action.


The following example is a small sample of the states you might have in your own workflow. When a new bug is entered, someone in your organization dispatches the bug to the appropriate QA engineer for review. If the QA engineer agrees that the reported behavior is a new bug, then it is sent to Development to be fixed. Development can take a number of possible actions on the bug.

  • The behavior described in the bug report is designed behavior, so the issue is not a bug.
  • The bug should be deferred until the next release.
  • The bug cannot be reproduced.
  • The bug is fixed.

Of course, these are only the developer’s claims and have yet been verified. Your workflow model might reflect these claims with the following states: Fixed?, Deferred?, Not Repro?, and Not-a-Bug? The question marks imply that these claims have not yet been verified by a QA engineer.