Thursday, July 7, 2005

Bugs, spiders, and priorities

Steve Trefethen has been running a series of posts regarding the Delphi Development Process.  I thought I'd add a little salt to this post about how we handle bugs.  Then I started looking at some of my old posts and found that I'd already posted a rather long diatribe on how we prioritize the fixing of defects.  So rather than simply restating what I'd already said, I thought I'd provide a visual aid to explain my comments regard a defect's “surface area.”  I spent a few moments and created the following graph to illustrate this goofy idea I have regarding the use of a bug's “surface area” in determining its priority in the stack of things to be looked at. 

As you can see, by using a spider graph and picking various metrics that are the radial scales a quick glance at the data shows how much overall “surface area” a defect appears to have.  As I mentioned in my post referenced above, we don't actually spit out a spider graph for each defect.  This is merely a visual aid to help further illustrate my point.  Although, this may be a good thing to have our internal tools begin to actually provide....hmmm....  The number of metrics and their scales would probably be very different, but I hope this may help spark ideas, internally and externally.