Real-time responsibility with DoneDone

This is the first in a five-part series of articles introducing DoneDone, our simple, straightforward issue tracking tool to finish projects strong. Sign up to get a launch alert and view a quick features list at http://www.donedone.com. We’ll be launching DoneDone within the next few days…

All client projects should end on time.

But, this rarely ever happens. Whether it’s a piece of software, a book, or a building, any project that involves a group of people with different responsibilities usually ends like a bull rush. A stampede of odds, ends, and whole parts not yet implemented. The last phase of a project is a cocktail of unanticipated obstacles and miscommunication, with a pinch of chaos.

DoneDone is all about real-time responsibility
You can blame it on the client, yourselves, or the tools you use. In the end, we’ve found that the key to finishing a project is real-time responsibility. Who’s responsible for fixing a bug right now, responding to a question right now, moving a batch of resolved issues to those that need to test it right now, or testing that something is actually fixed right now? When even one person lets up, projects start slipping behind schedule..

DoneDone is the antidote – a different kind of issue tracking tool focused primarily on real-time responsibility, not just issues. It’s a better way to get through the final phase of a project. DoneDone cares about what needs to be done next.

The DoneDone dashboard
What do we mean by real-time responsibility? Here’s the DoneDone dashboard. It’s the first thing you see when you login to DoneDone.

The DoneDone dashboard lets you know what issues are waiting on you to act next.

Instead of a laundry list of issues, you see only what’s really important to you. Your active issues. Your closed issues. The blue column tells you how many issues are waiting on you.

  • You need to fix issue #8, you need to retest #15
  • Mike’s asking you to clarify something in #18
  • Anthony can’t reproduce issue #22.

As long as you get the “issues waiting on you” column down to zero, issues keep moving to the right person.

The “issues waiting on them” column tells you how many issues you’re waiting on.

  • Tom needs to work on an issue you created
  • You’re awaiting Mustafa’s response to a question on issue #11
  • You need Lindsay to retest issue #34

Issues get done faster because DoneDone helps keep them moving.

Unlike most issue trackers, we also let you know what’s new or updated on the dashboard, project homepage and issue pages, so you’re always caught up with what’s changed since the last time you’ve visited DoneDone. You no longer have to wonder, have I already seen this update before?

Issue histories show you what’s new since you last visited.

The project home page
When you go to a project, you see just what you need to get done. We show you your active issues, issues that are waiting on you, issues that you’re waiting on, and your closed issues.

Project home pages sort issues by real-time responsibility.

Here, you can easily see what issues are new and what issues have been updated since you’ve last visited.

DoneDone vs. the rest
Like other popular issue tracking tools (say, Bugzilla, Elementool, or FogBugz), DoneDone lets you assign priority and status, discuss issues, re-assign them to someone else, and attach supporting documents. But, most issue tracking tools stop there. Most just feel like a repository of infinitely sortable issues in a database. How you decide to organize and digest them is left up to you.

That’s a bad way to keep people motivated. QA and testing is often tedious and burdensome as it is necessary. Your team has been working on the same project for months. People are tired and all the big decisions have been made. Now, it’s all about finishing. And, it’s often the hardest thing to do.

Tomorrow: We take a look at what a DoneDone issue looks like. From creation to completion, you’ll see how our approach works better than the rest.

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