Tracking Features and Bugs

Part 1 – Introduction and Description of the problem
Part 2 – Requirements and you
Part 3 – Tracking Features and Bugs
Part 4 – The little black book that could
Part 5 – Your developers – Don’t be a prick
Part 6 – Wrapping up

Part 3 – Tracking Features and Bugs
Now that we know how to write better requirements, here is another secret project management kung fu technique:


Oh wow! Yay! Man! WTF?

I am being serious.
Number and name your requested features.
Each and every one of them.

This could look like this (taking up from the last part)

23 Affiliate offer site

23.1 Affiliate button
At the end of the text container, put a green button. The button should be labeled “Claim your prize NOW!”. The color code for the button is #00FF00. See attached screenshot of layout (layout_mockup_01.jpg).

23.1.2  Button function
When the user clicks the button, he is directed to redirect.php in the same directory. The link opens in the same window.

This way, you get a handy method for tracking the work and bugs.

For this, make yourself an excel sheet with the numbers, the name, status and note.

Then, whenever the project comes back into your hands, you can test each number and note the status and eventual bug note.

23 Affiliate offer site Buggy  23.1.2 Does not work as it should, leads direct to affiliate link.

Why numbers?
Numbers are easy to communicate. There is no ambiguity with numbers. Instead of saying “Ya know, that green button at the bottom of the offer page does not work.” I can point the coder to “Feature 23 is buggy, please see the report.”

That way, a lot of misunderstandings are ruled out and development and bug fixing are faster.

Yes, this is a lot of work, but it will save you time and money in the long run.

How so?

First off, you will come to grips with what you are actually asking for. Making a list like this, it becomes easily apparent when something is missing.

You will also come to grips with the size of the project – timewise and moneywise.
If you need an estimate, ask for an estimate by numbers. You don’t need to ask for each and every task, but you can ask by chunks, in the above example this would be #23 – Affiliate offer site.

Try to keep the work packages at approximately 1 day or less for small projects, 1 week or less for big (multi-month) projects.

If you are trying to improve your project management skills, keep tabs on how your estimates compared to the times it really took to complete a task. Learn and adjust.

This will also help your estimation skills as a developer, so you don’t end up taking more than you can handle.