Friday, July 2, 2010

Severity What?

I've seen a lot of project orders that include language like this:

"The product shall not ship with any known unresolved severity 1 or severity 2 defects."

Severity 1 is usually defined as crash, data loss, and/or total system unavailability. (In my team, we call this "the big oops".) Severity 2 is usually defined as loss of core functionality of the system.

But when the project's late, those definitions sometimes get changed because, "darnit, we've got to ship!"

And then something like this happens.

Beware changing definitions - there be dragons!

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you wrote about this. I made a note about this on our last project (which I was supposed to blog about:)

    In our releases it's not the definition that changes - it's people's reaction to the definition.

    At the beginning of the release people aren't opposed to having P2s. Their risk tolerance is high.

    As we get closer to ship date the definition of "risk" or "problem" gets more stringent.

    (P1s are still really bad at any point)