Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Endless Discussions...

There are a lot of process discussions that go on at work. We talk about how to move stories forward, how to create a story, how to create a bug, how to triage a bug, etc etc etc. That's a lot of talk about the beginnings of things.

We so rarely talk about the endings.

One of the trickiest issues we have is how to handle customer issues. Here is where the beginning is well-defined, and the end is not. Here's the process, roughly:
  • Client logs an issue (or support notices an issue at the client stuff).
  • Support looks at the issue to figure out (1) what's wrong; and (2) how to get the client running again, if necessary.
  • Support logs a bug for dev to figure out what the problem is. This only happens if the issue is something new or is unclear.
  • Dev looks at the issue and figures out what's going on. Where necessary, dev comes up with a workaround.
After that, it kind of falls apart... Usually by this point the client is up and running again, so the urgency is somewhat less. One or more of the following may occur:
  • The bug that support logged gets moved into a dev queue.
  • The bug that the client logged gets moved into a dev queue.
  • The bug that the client logged gets closed.
  • The bug might be closed and a story created to add new functionality.
  • Someone sends an email saying, "So what's next on this item?"
So when you're talking about how to handle incoming data, be sure to talk about how to handle closing it out. Starting things is only good if you can end them!

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