Triage planning

This topic is to discuss how we currently triage issues, and to suggest improvements, as well as inform people of improvements in the process. There should be a corresponding confluence page once we’ve figured out what we’re doing enough to call it a “plan.”

When I say “triage” I don’t just mean for priority, I also mean checking to make sure all parts of an issue are up to date, status, description, due date etc. Of course this work shouldn’t be left until the triage meeting, this should be done as people make progress on issues, but we’ll get there.

Here’s what the current process looks like:

Using the Master Triage Jira filter we check and update:

  • Description - does it have a clear statement of the problem, the plan, the solution? (It doesn’t have to be pretty, the info just needs to be there
  • Progress - is this an accurate statement of how far along the work is, and what is the next step?
  • Due Date - if work is in progress this should be set as the due date for the next step identified in the Progress field. If work isn’t in progress it should be set to any hard deadline for completion if that exists.
  • Status - Is it still marked as backlog but someone is clearly working on it? Is it done?
  • Assignee - If it’s in progress it should have an assignee. If progress is stalled it should be nominated for a new assignee
  • Labels - If this issue needs to be discussed further, we add the labels “ProjectMeeting” and/or “DiscourseMeeting.” Issues with these labels are reviewed at the respective meetings
  • Needs Attention - If the issue needs more in depth updating, like the description is inaccurate, or if the issue is being blocked by someone, the appropriate names are added to the “Needs Attention” field.

I just updated the Master Triage filter to sort by project, ascending, and then by last updated, ascending. We have a lot of sub-projects and at the last meeting we realized that we should probably triage by project. Perhaps even splitting up projects between people who attend the triage rather than us all looking at the same issues.

When I’ve done this sort of triage before, it’s worked out a bit differently, it’s been in teams where everyone is a bit more informed and so it was pretty rapid fire “this bug needs changing” “ok I’ll change it while you go on to the next one.” Need to figure out how to get to that point with this team, or figure out a different approach.

What do you guys think of starting out the triage meeting the same way we do the project meeting, with a “group” independent hack, so first anyone who’s on the call triages their own issues from the Dashboard, then we triage the rest of the issues as a group?

This is the kind of thing that we’d talk about in the Project Management meeting as well.

I like the ideas. Will also bring a sense of preparedness before the meetings.