I occasionally need to describe that something works but that it does not necessarily does so correctly. To give some background, it's mostly to do with software - If I'm given the task to investigate some odd behaviour, I sometimes find that a piece of code "works", because the instructions given to the computer are logically consistent (in other words, there is no bug), however, it may not produce the desired result because the instructions are wrong (e.g., initial design was flawed, or it the system is wrongly configured) or because the circumstances were abnormal (e.g., could be an edge case or a failure outside of this piece of software). At any rate, it usually means that the code investigation part is complete and more research is needed but code-wise it's the functionality is consistent with how it is supposed to work. Whether or not it is supposed to work is a different question.

I've used "operational" before but it does not seem to represent the idea well enough.

  • 1
    It works as designed but not necessarily as intended? Sep 11, 2015 at 18:19
  • "works as designed" "not a bug" "Check inputs"
    – SrJoven
    Sep 11, 2015 at 18:37
  • @KristinaLopez that sounds about right, in fact. If you can add this as an answer, I'll wait for a day or two and probably accept it unless something more suitable comes up.
    – VLAZ
    Sep 11, 2015 at 18:39
  • The software runs, but not necessarily correctly. This word could be used to describe an engine or a machine as well.
    – J.R.
    Sep 11, 2015 at 18:43
  • @SrJoven not precisely - it could work as designed, but the design might be wrong, for example, the program is fed numbers 2 and 3 and produces 5 (2+3) but the correct output is 6 (2*3). Whether or not it is a bug may depend on clarifying the requirements - in the previous example, the instructions for a*+*b are consistent with the output, but the output is still incorrect. Or it could be a different reason. I'm more looking at saying "at this stage, I know it's not faulty code".
    – VLAZ
    Sep 11, 2015 at 18:43

5 Answers 5


"The code is functioning as designed but not necessarily as intended." Additional, specific examples can then be appended to this initial assessment of the code.


You mean something that doesn't work as you would want it to or that it is partially complete?

Maybe the word 'Stopgap' or 'makeshift' is better in that case? Meaning just a temporary fix to a problem.

So you'd use it this way:

'This is only a stopgap until I find something better.'

'This is just a makeshift measure until I find a better solution.'

  • "You mean something that doesn't work as you would want it to or that it is partially complete?" No, at least not necessarily - it could be a finished phase. I certainly don't mean to convey "unfinishedness" quality.
    – VLAZ
    Sep 11, 2015 at 18:36
  • Oh okay, in that case, yes, the words I suggested are good too.
    – Ravi
    Sep 11, 2015 at 18:38

Preliminary, alpha or beta (also heard of red or blue cut), rough cut, (stop-gap already given and best so far), holder and temporary.

  • I take this all back. I misread the question. Sorry.
    – user116032
    Sep 11, 2015 at 21:20

"Works as designed, but design is flawed."

  • This simply restates the question.
    – Chenmunka
    May 8, 2017 at 8:32

I suggest specific what phase the problem was introduced, e.g. issue escaped from requirements phase or issues escaped from design phase.

Here is a explanation from Pragmatic Software Testing: Becoming an Effective and Efficient Test Professional By Rex Black Test phases

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