Agile Tasks (like Bug Fixes & Support Tickets)

edited July 2010 in TRO General Discussion
Question: I'm a programmer and when I have a task, especially bug in a program, it's very hard to estimate whether it will take 20 minutes or 1 hour. That's why I can't decide beforehand if task should be scheduled in the calendar or not. Have you any suggestion for this case?

Time Estimates for Bug Fixes and Support Tickets?

If something might take 30 minutes or more, you should allocate time for it in the calendar the way Total, Relaxed Organization Training teaches. This budgets time (on or around the Loose Goal Date) to make sure you can get to it. But do NOT allocate time for all your tasks--that will stress you out!

However, bugs and client support items can be hard to track. For those, I recommend a different approach.

Agile Task Management

Here is an "agile" approach for managing tasks like bug fixes and support tickets.

Box out a block of time for bug fixes, say, every Thursday. Now maintain a list of bugs using a "bugs" tag in your lists. These will be automatically prioritized in your lists using your "loose goal date" and "hard date" choices. Now, during the bug fixing time, work off that list until you run out of time. You will fix the most critical bugs that way, and you do not need to have exact estimates for each one.

An exception would be a particularly bad bug that you know will take 4 hours or more. Estimate high and block out time for it, specifically.
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