27 February 2017

Sizing Defects

Coming from the perspective of a Tech Lead or a Product Owner, it is my opinion that time spent sizing defects is wasted time. Let me explain a little about this.

Firstly, we all (should) be living in a zero-defect world. That is, we are striving to achieve a zero-defect application. (More on Zero Defects some other time). But in the zero-defect world when we detect a defect, we need to respond quickly to resolve this issue. 

Secondly, in most cases the amount of work necessary to determine if something is trivial to fix v. very very difficult to fix is equivalent to fixing the issue itself. 

My premise is this, if you identify a defect, assume that it is size medium (or what ever your team average is) and get to work. You can pull in as many teammates as you like to dissect the issue and discuss possible resolutions after you've started the card. But starting the card is more important than understanding its size and impact on the project at the time. 

All that said, if your a Program Manager or Delivery Leader and you are concerned about a delivery deadline, you are going to want to know the size. You will want to understand how this defect impacts your delivery schedule and if you need to re-communicate the commitments the team has made. This is understandable, but you need to overcome your desire to distract the team for solving the issue. Consider that you are just adding to the duration of the fix. 

Rather, focus on getting the defect in progress as soon as possible and getting the issue resolved. If you have very small cards any defect you encounter will generally be the same size as the size in the middle. If its a little smaller or a little bigger it will average out in most cases.