I was talking with someone at work today, and he was telling me about an issue he's having. He had a problem on one system (bad switch), and he logged a bug and it was dealt with (new switch!). He now has another system with the same type of (bad) switch in it, and it isn't a problem, but he's worried it might become an issue. As a preventive measure, he's gathering logs and starting to collect data; if it fails, he'll have some good prefailure data.
(By the way, I applaud this effort. It shows some real thinking ahead. But that's not the point of the story.)
Anyway, he came to me asking if he should log a bug for this.
And I said no. He is missing one key criteria:
Bugs should be actionable.
Let's say I'm on the receiving end of this bug. There are only a few things I'm going to ask myself:
- What's happening?
- How is that different from what we would like to have happen?
- What do I do?
If you can't answer those three questions, you don't have a bug (or issue or ticket or whatever you want to call it). You might have something that will one day become a bug, but you don't have a bug.
So whenever you're logging an issue, make sure you've elucidated the things the recipient will need to fix the problem. Give the recipient desire and action. One without the other will not help your problem get solved.