UserVoice’s extremely detailed project workflow

Some nice people at UserVoice took the time to jot down how they manage their product. Amongst the lessons learned:

Have a set amount of time per week that will be spent on bugs

We have roughly achieved this by setting a limit on the number of bugs we’ll accept into Next Up per week. This was a bit contentious at first but has resolved a lot of strife about whether a bug is worthy. The customer team is now empowered (or burdened) with choice of choosing which cards will move on. It’s the product development version of the Hunger Games.

This, to me, is an interesting juxtaposition. Normally, I think of bugs as things that should all be fixed, eventually. Putting some scarcity of labor into them is a great idea. Fixing bugs is great, until it negatively affects morale. Better to address the most critical and pressing bugs and then move the product ball forward. A mechanism to limit the number of bugs to fix, plus the feedback loop of recognizing those who fix bugs in an iteration (they mention this elsewhere in the article), is a great idea.