If it ain't a soup question, keep it the hell out of the room

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2009/09/16 10:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2009/09/16/9895869.aspx

The other day, in "What kind of soup?" is not exactly a soup question, is it?, I mentioned that I might have a technical example of the issue of

Not exactly a soup question, is it?

so think of this blog as me finally getting around to doing that.

It has to do with triage.

World-ready triage, to be precise.

It is a group that in most cases met twice a week, and worked to go through every bug in Windows that had some kind of globalization/localizability/international kind of issue and give a recommendation on how important it was to fix it, and by when.

It was pretty important in terms of the fact that a "must fix" recommendation could not be ignored, and it dovetailed nicely into my actual work of assisting other teams with their globalization/localizability/international issues since often a team that did not know exactly how to fix such an issue would benefit from someone who could work with them on how they could!

But I am not going to talk about the fixing so much in this blog.

This blog is about the triage.

The group included experts in a wide number of specialties -- development, test, and program management, for one. But also people specializing in lots of different areas, like:

and so on. The number of people would vary from me meeting to meeting, with bugs sometimes skipped to the next meeting if the best people to look at a particular bug report weren't in the room.

A tight little group, very efficient in almost every way.

Ironically, the one place they sometimes fell short was due to the very thing that got them the seat at the table -- their various/varied ares of interests and areas of expertise!

Because they had those interests, they would often be interested in bug details such as looking deeper into the description, checking out provide screen shots, asking for more information, and so on.

Here is the kicker -- they would want to do some of these things even if it would in no way change the recommendation of triage.

And if one measures efficiency of a triaging group in terms of how fast they go through bugs (so that they can get through more bugs in a meeting) then the fact that members would so often ask questions not relevant to everyone in the room -- that were not soup questions -- could really affect that efficiency.

Now I myself was at times guilty of the same problem, and it was an effort of will to remember that

If it isn't a soup question for the meeting to keep it out of the meeting!

Now with Windows 7 out the door and me working on something else now (though I do not know what, yet!), I my not be, in fact probably won't be, in that meeting anymore.

But I do know that if I were I would want to be better to keep those non-soup questions the hell out! :-)

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