We don’t give date estimates for bug fixes. Quit asking.

As a long time product manager, one of my pet peeves is the bug/hotfix process.  Stepping back, we have a well defined triage process, where a good team of dev, support, and support engineers (as well as myself) sit in a room, and agree on priority, severity, and even whether it is a defect, or just desired different behavior requested.  This works well.

Issues are brought in, verified, assigned severity (and if there is a work around, that lowers the severity, as you would expect), and tossed into the queue.

The maintenance team, 3 developers, then pull items from the queue in FIFO with some stack ranking due to priority.  At any one time we have 30 – 60 issues in queue.

What this rant is about is the constant badgering I get from sales.  “When will issue X be done?”  “Why isn’t {insert pet issue} done yet”, “I am going to go to the division GM if you can’t give me this this week”, among other less printable comments.

As there is a queue, and it is ranked by priority and severity, we get to them as we get to them.  We do not make duse dates available.  I will not commit to more than “It is in the queue, and the team will address it”.  

Sigh, I seem to lose 2 hours a week in these pointless discussions.  I have an idea, why don’t you find a bug in Windows, and call Microsoft support.  See how much “pull” you have there.

1 thought on “We don’t give date estimates for bug fixes. Quit asking.

  1. Good points, Guy. However, sales are a different breed. Regardless of how rational your prioritization, and backlog prioritization, they will see that their immediate issue should be highest (even if it is just fixing a typo in the Italian translation on a dialog).Thanks for sharing!

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