Bug and issue tracking with LiquidPlanner

Charles Seybold | March 6, 2008

Bug Tracking 1
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We have been asked frequently if LiquidPlanner can be used for tracking the small stuff as well as the big stuff. The answer is most definitely, YES. In this post, I’ll share how our team incorporates software bug tracking into our software development process.

Bug Tracking 1In LiquidPlanner, projects are organized in order of priority; the higher something is in the list, the higher the priority of the work in the project. We use an Agile methodogy called Scrum that groups development work into one month projects called sprints. We use a project to model each sprint (i.e. Sprint 11 is higher priority so it gets scheduled before Sprint 12).

We also create sub-projects (prioritized buckets) for bugs and features, as well as some supporting buckets for untriaged and rejected bugs…
The cool thing is that now we are capturing a complete set of the work (features + bugs) for each sprint and we have one system to manage the process. Note that our team likes to prioritize bugs over features; this aligns with our principle that quality is more important than expanding the scope of the product.

Having separate containers for bugs means you can get analysis on bugs, features, or both by selecting the container of interest…

Bug Tracking 2

Having bug containers set up as projects is really useful. I’ll show you what I mean using the image below.

First, when we enter bugs we start the title with “Bug:” this allows us to find them easily with search (eventually we will put this kind of tagging into LP as a feature). We also estimate our bugs. Whoever enters the bug takes a best guess at how long it will take to fix and assigns it to the person likely to own it. The bug automatically gets a yellow flag telling the owner that someone else estimated it and they should confirm the estimate/owner.

Bug Tracking 3

We use categories in LiquidPlanner to manage functional areas so we can do things like keep track of the “bugs” in the “grid control.” Here is that that looks like…

Bug Tracking 4

Putting it all together, we have a system where our bugs are completely integrated with our project workflow and prioritization processes. The bugs are organized by feature and by sprint; when we lose track of specific bugs we can use the search feature to find them again.

Of course we also attach comments and documents to each bug, including repro steps…

Bug Tracking 5

Bug Tracking 6

We like having a lightweight bug tracking process integrated with our project management process because it gives us a better picture of our capacity/schedule, keeps us from accumulating bug debt, and lets us spend less time on process and more on getting things done.

It’s time for our bug triage meeting, gotta go. 🙂