I am an experienced developer, but not an experienced manager. I’d prefer if organizing tasks was not my responsibility, but I work at a small company and no one else is inclined to do it. How do you organize miscellaneous tasks when using a task management system such as Jira? We’re using GitLab, but it has the same basic features, such as epics, milestones, tasks, and subtasks.

I don’t want to have miscellaneous tasks floating around in the ether, because things like that tend to get lost. But an epic is supposed to have a well-defined end goal, right? A good epic is something like “Implement this complex feature” or “Reach this level of maturity” - not “Miscellaneous stuff”.

The majority of the work we do fits fairly clearly into specific goals, such as “Release the next version of <this> feature.” But what about bug fixes and other random improvements and miscellaneous tasks? How do you keep those organized?

  • @jmk1ngM
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    78 months ago

    Depends on what you mean by miscellaneous.

    Are we talking about things my team calls “chores”? Things like upgrade some dependencies, or fix something annoying about the DX or build, look into that new library the team’s been talking about maybe using to replace some jank part of the app?

    If so, we have an epic we simply name “chores”. We stack the backlog of chores based on priority and we attempt to get at least one done a sprint.

    It’s not critical stuff. It’s not blocking anything (yet). It’s just housekeeping and maintenance stuff that doesn’t fit into regularly planned and scheduled deliverables.

    Whenever someone says something like “man, our version of Node is super old. We should really look into getting onto at least the current LTS”. That’s when you say “Add it to the chores!” so you all don’t forget about it.

    • @[email protected]
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      fedilink
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      18 months ago

      We have a similar epic called ‘quality’, from the idea that all the little odd jobs and chores have the goal of improving overall quality. Very generic, I know, but it helps to create some focus.

    • EthanOP
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      18 months ago

      I’d say the biggest categories are chores and minor updates. For example (for the latter category), we finished an overhaul of the API; we developed and tested it, then deployed it to the test environment and had users and app developers test it, then we deployed it to production and closed the epic. And now that it’s on production and more people are using it, we’ve realized it needs some improvements. Where do those tasks belong? They’re not high enough priority to do now (there are other things higher on the list), but they should get done eventually, and there’s not enough of them to merit an epic.

      • @valence_engineer
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        8 months ago

        and there’s not enough of them to merit an epic.

        Why? Other than having more backlog Jira epics in the UI this seems the best approach? Put them into an Epic and once the Epic is large enough you prioritize work on it. If it never gets to that size then you can re-evaluate.