was right to be concerned about the risk of not verifying fixes when the developers needed the information. If you use release criteria, and openly discuss which areas of the product are critical for product success, you can manage that risk.
A three-tiered ranking for problem reports isn't going to solve the promotion-demotion problem of which problem is assigned to which level, especially at the end of a release. But it will make the number and risk of your problems clearer to everyone concerned. Then maybe you can fix more defects before the product is obsolete.
Arguing Apples and Oranges , By Elisabeth Hendrickson