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Reducing ticket noise

Creating a ticket in the task management system is easy. But frequently, you probably run into the situation where your tickets get “noisy” and become unreadable.

Why does this happen? Well, when many people are involved in a specific ticket, there will be bunch of assigning, back and forth communication, until the ticket is approved, and resolved in the end. I am referring here to tickets that are related to new features or complex bugs. Dealing with simple bugs is easy and this would probably never happen.

How to deal with ticket readability

So, how to deal with tickets and avoid “noise”? You don't want developers to miss out on features or bugs in the ticket and you also want testers to see what they need to review so it can be properly checked and approved.

I prepared a list of things we do to improve ticket readability and reduce the risk of missing valuable information.

Separate discussion from tickets as much as possible

We are lazy in nature, so from time to time, we tend to discuss things in tickets more than needed. Try to avoid this. Leave out all unnecessary information from the ticket and leave only clean concise data which is required for people working on the ticket. For additional details link to an external discussion, which is posted separately.

For example, say you are not sure how you want to implement a feature. The feature was discussed and final requirements are settled.

Now think about if you have all this information in ticket. This is a lot of unneeded data. The person to which ticket is assigned only needs to know about the final decision, and perhaps something else, but this can be all written down cleanly with a link to the discussion in which final decision was made.

Always attach links to the final copy and design updates to the ticket

When a developer is working on a feature, the ticket also includes a link to Beanstalk changeset and the latest design pages. Now these pages can change many times through the ticket. Attaching all the changeset changes and design pages at bottom of the ticket is a huge help.

Clean tickets reduce the probability of error

The bottom line is that you should try to keep your tickets clean and easily readable, at the same time try not to have long tickets which have thousands of lines of text. This means you should have separate tickets in smaller pieces.

Let me know what you think and how you are working in your task management system with tickets.