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Statuses challenge: when there are too many?

Hello, after roughly 6 months of Jira use our team feels comfortable to leap into new process changes. Probably someone already faced similar challenges and is willing to share their experience. 

Development is a complex process, especially when multiple external clients are involved, so we rely on statuses as they give us transparency. Anyone in our company can check where a specific task is stuck without bothering the assignee. 

We don't use sprints and multifunctional autonomous teams and we have reasons for that. 

DEV Tasks v7 - Jira - Mozilla Firefox 2021-08-23 1.pngYou can see the current workflow in the picture, we moved away from all-to-all anarchy because a status change was overwhelming for people (when you open a drop-down menu and see 13 paths there). So we ended up with 2-5 logical options on each status. 

[DEV-3632] Account opening from Client side - Jira.png 

Yet, the team asking for more statuses :) here is a list:

  1. Ready for testing - a testing backlog, as some items, can stay in a backlog for weeks. 
  2. Ready for deployment (we have PCI DSS and other standards which strictly control everything related to deployment).
  3. Released.
  4. End-user (or production) acceptance test. And after that, a reporter can drop an item to 'Done'. 

And it seems logical, as the last 3 stages from a list are inside the current 'done' and not transparent. But anyway, we're up to 17 statuses! Is that a lot? Should I add them or use a completely different approach?

Please share your opinions.  

1 comment

So whilst this could be read as a performance or complexity question, I would say that we've moved on.  When I started using Jira, yes, having a massive pile of status could have a measurable performance impact, so I was always pushing to cut it down.  <mumble> years later, I would say that each new status still imposes the same load on your server, but, um, servers are insanely faster and better than they were then, so now, "too many status in my Jira" is really not a problem in technical tems.

But.  

Think of your humans.

Do all those different status make sense to them?  The day a human comes to your team or your admins and says "what does status X actually mean?", you either have got too many and are confusing people, or you have badly named status (remember to take into account language barriers here - I know I've deserved a slap for not getting that someone who speaks English almost as badly as I speak French might not quite grasp what a very English-centric status name might mean)

There is a simple example I quote here.  It is NOT something you have fallen into, but I see a lot of what I think of pointlessly duplicated status.  I regularly run into workflows that have segments like "... -> in dev -> dev done -> ready for test -> in test -> ...".  What the heck is the difference between "dev done" and "ready for test"?  Does it matter for your reporting?  Who makes the decision to say "well, dev is done, so I'm going to ignore it for a fortnight, but then when I feel like it, move it over to ready for test"?  Surely if the development is complete, it is ready to test?  Why are there two status for one place?

To be fair, a proliferation of status in Jira is not usually a fault in Jira, it's almost always people who are not thinking right.  Get them to work together to agree on the useful reporting and process, not create a huge pile of status just because it works for that one person.

 

In short, I think you are doing it right.  You've got clearly named status, you are not creating pointless duplicates, and although you may have a complex workflow, it is completely clear how it works, and I can see "status = X" being a very useful reporting option in every case you have.  Don't let it grow without asking the right questions and you're going to be fine.

Thanks @Nic Brough _Adaptavist_ for your time and detailed response!

Right now I've raised an internal discussion to merge 'For estimation, underestimation, confirmation, and budget confirmed' info to a single 'Confirmation'.
I've created a special sub-task 'Estimate' and you can always look at the task and see if it is still is "in progress" or in negotiation with a client.

That alone could be -3 statuses!

As for "ready for x" statuses, like a said it's a purpose to serve as a backlog in places where tasks can hang for a significant amount of time. Ideally, we should adjust our kanban and follow the JiT, but at this moment we are limited with human resources (lacking testers to provide a bandwidth equal to developers' throughput).

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