Triage vs. Planning

Triage vs. Planning

A discussion came up in at my work about distinction between a triage and planning meetings. My take on this is that triage reactive whereas planning is active.

Let me illustrate this with examples. Imagine a customer-facing app like a WordPress CMS. Users use the CMS, encounter bugs, and curse. They sometimes report the bugs. An engineering team or a product manager will triage the incoming bugs and issues to sort out what need an urgent fix and what can be deferred. Bugs tend to be urgent but not always important (at least not important for the majority of users).

On the other hand, there is an important task. The CMS has a roadmap to add a paid feature that should increase company revenue and make the next year profitable. The paid feature needs to be implemented. It’s the top priority. Its implementation must be planned actively, separately and before any bugs. If not planned, bugs can take up all the time.

Thus, my suggestion is to plan and plan the priority first. Then plan the triaged work on bugs and tech debt. Focus on important first, not urgent.

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Best Regards,
Azat Mardan
Microsoft MVP | Book and Course Author | Software Engineering Leader
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