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Need some comments on my work situation

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  • Need some comments on my work situation

    I'm starting to think in terms of projects and next actions at work and would like any relevant advice. Most of my progress with the Getting Things Done system has been at home, where it was perfectly clear what to do and furthermore I was in dire straits at home but not at work.

    I'm a software engineer, and at this time I have no major projects other than fixing bugs. I have a list of 160 open bugs in my area of the software. Most of them have been at least tentatively diagnosed and documented in an illustrated Word file. My inbox is empty, and I don't have stacks of paper piled on my desk. Everything is filed away nicely either on paper or in something like Outlook. I have a tentative project/next action list in Word, but I could just as well write my lists down on a yellow pad at this point, which is my natural inclination.

    Here are my preliminary thoughts on my situation.

    I could make each bug a project of the form "fix bug #xxxxx." Then I would also have 160 next actions in addition to a handful of minor adminstrative tasks.

    I could do this with a subset of the bugs, and put the rest on a someday/maybe list. Actually I wouldn't need to take any steps to put the someday/maybe bugs in a list, because the list of my current bugs is always available and completely up-to-date.

    I could ignore the bugs completely and formulate projects in terms of what it would take to fix the bugs. This would require some work to group the bugs in terms of projects. Unfortunately I don't see any particular project addressing a large number of bugs. My best defined "project" to date was recently completed and allowed me to close only four bugs, for example.

    I'm leaning towards the middle solution, however I wonder if anyone else has a similar situation on the job and could offer some advice.


  • #2


    Based on your statement that there is not much you can do to create projects that address groups of bugs, then my suggestion would be to make them separate projects. Also, if the bugs that are assigned to you are on separate "trouble tickets" then keeping them separate is definitely the way to go. Keep as many of them on your project list as you can work on at one time, and put the rest into someday/maybe. Exactly which ones are current and which are someday/maybe will probably depend on some kind of priority setting exercise with the users of the software.

    If the bug fixes already have agreed-upon delivery dates, then you will also need either ticklers or calendar entrys to let you know when the calendar days left to delivery is about equal to the calendar days you will need to do them.