Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Task vs Issue

Recently had a good discussion on the differences between tasks and issues......and I had a difficult time explaining the difference...frustrating, mostly because I think the other person had some good points. My view:
  • Task = defined set of work, part of a larger delivery, assigned to a single/primary person
  • Issue = self contained deliverable, often smaller scale then a project, passes hands from person to person throughout the life cycle (developer to QA, etc.)
and the response? why not add more steps to the task so it's more like an issue and then handle the issues in the task area......

Some thoughts:
  • you lose the effect of the task time line, in that a task that changes status and primary resource stands still in time - the linking of task to task to show the typical think-do-test is lost since it's all contained within the same task (controlled by status)...but you could extend the task duration to accommodate the entire duration..right?
  • you lose specific action accountability - if 'thinking' should take 2 days, 'doing' 3 days and 'testing' 1 day - by changing status and person, you lose sight of what each actually took....that's why there's log history...right?
  • managing tasks takes a bit more time since they're connected with other tasks, part of a larger delivery, etc. and therefore have higher overhead...where issues should be about smaller deliveries where smaller overhead (aka effort or cost) needs to be applied to reduce, a critical, system stopping issue shouldn't have the focus (aka overhead) to ensure it's done properly? and a task should cost more just because it's a task?
  • It's easier to track resources, resource allocation, etc. when tasks are used since all tasks are assigned specific resources, where issue resources are changed depending on the life cycle (developer to tester)....then how do you track resource utilization for maintenance/issue management?
PERPLEXING to say the least....maybe there shouldn't be a difference and the only reason we call them and treat them different is because that's what we were told to do.......WOW!...prejudice and brainwashing in project management.......very disturbing.

(image from

1 comment:

  1. Hey, Meade, if you want to alienate southerners you can do no better than to put up a picture of the hated Sherman! (lol)