“Failure is instructive. The person who really thinks learns quite as much from his failures as from his successes” – John Dewey.
The above statement penned by John Dewy describes the importance and inescapability of mistakes. This holds true while working on software development as mistakes play an integral role and parcel of a development process as well.
But what is issue management in the software development process? When it comes to project management, issue management is a skill or what many would call a futuristic eye to predict unforeseen issues and resolve them beforehand.
It is a tool that helps the project manager identify the bugs and obstacles that are causing a problem in the project development and immediately fix them. A well-planned project management software must help even the non-technical members of the staff in issue tracking and guide them throughout the process by tackling problems quickly and easily. This feature also allows them to sort out the root cause of the problem and handle it faster by looking after every existing detail.
Assess risks to predict issues
A software development team must learn how to differentiate between a risk and an issue. Since many Quality Assurance and development teams are still uncertain about these differences, lets first clarify that! As you’ve probably heard it before, the risk is something expected to happen in the course of developing software, as well as after the production of the software. What does that mean? Teams can easily predict risk and prepare accordingly. Meanwhile, an issue is an exact opposite. It’s a problem that occurs when a team develops a product and is detected only when they test the product for different features such as performance or functionality.
That being said, an issue can’t be predicted. However, that doesn’t mean there is absolutely no solution. An issue can only be optimized in the long run when the staff applies solutions they have learned from experience. Here are some of the most common practices in the industry for managing such issues:
Always record issues as they happen
You’ll see them coming right from the beginning of the development project. When you’re working in an agile environment where testing happens simultaneously with the developing project, it’s almost impossible not to identify and record these problems on the go. Even otherwise, a team doesn’t have to wait for the release to be entirely developed and tested. It’s a great practice for both developers and testers as they can work simultaneously to track issues and share solutions while developing itself. It’s way easier to handle the issues on the go and not at a later stage when they become too difficult and tiring to manage.
Provide accurate detailing of issues
Recording issues on the go is fundamental, but keep in mind that you’ll also have to provide accurate details of the issue while recording it. The issue type will help you identify requirements the product fails to adapt. The list entails the following:
- Functionality: A functionality issue appears when the product does not work as expected.
- Performance: This happens when a product does not fulfil performance requirements, such as the speed or load time.
- UI/UX: A UI/UX issue appears when the product fails to fulfil the front-end design requirements in terms of usability, theme, or precision, and so on.
- Compatibility: This type of issue pops up when a product doesn’t fit well among screen dimensions and devices.
- SEO: A problem in SEO appears when a website is not fully optimized or is facing SEO related problems.
Prioritize and strategize how the issue should be worked upon. You can prioritize issues like this:
- Low: This type of issue can be delayed
- Medium: Requires attention but not immediately
- High: Deserves attention and needs to be fixed immediately
- Urgent stopper: This is the highest priority. The issue requires attention as soon as possible before anything else.
Keep an issue log
An issue log is pretty much like a bible for a software developer. Once you’ve identified issues, with a concrete description and detail, you’ll have to maintain a log. By logging them, you can monitor the problem status and understand at what phase of resolving the issue resides.
Issue Management Through Event Storming
The modern collaborative environment nowadays allows businesses to come up with smart ideas by getting the entire staff, and the stakeholders involved. One steady approach is event storming -a facilitated workshop based on the principles of domain-driven design (DDD), where the entire development team gets involved in creating a business model that can be used during development.
The main purpose of event storming is to bring together developers and non-technical users in the same room, where they can interact and delve into complex business domains. The workshop is a collaborative and interaction driven approach, so it doesn’t require a computer-just a lot of post-its. Why? Because people are pretty much the essence of the event storming, choosing the right group of people can influence its outcomes. Even storming group learning is essential as it’s an enjoyable way to integrate and motivate both the product and development team to generate alternative solutions by visualizing and selecting them.
In event storming, people are grouped into two categories: those who ask the questions, and those who can answer them. This means you will have to include both non-technical experts who are familiar with the software domain and experts with technical know-how like developers and IT experts. In the event storming, clients are welcomed too, as they can share their opinions from a user experience perspective.
We’ve learned by now how a risk differentiates from an issue and how workshops and even step-by-step practices are a way to go when it comes to issue management. There are different methods for handling risks and issues, but since you’ll face them both throughout the project development, it’s vital to have a well-planned process for anticipating and managing them as they arise.