It’s “commitment” time at Microsoft – which means that employees across the company are plotting out what they’ll be doing over the next 10 months (the weird thing about commitments is that we set them in August / September, but we review them in June. We’re busy in July in August, but they’re lost months in a way).

As a manager, my commitments are the team’s commitments (or vice-versa – not exactly sure sometimes). The team and I have been taking some time over the past few weeks to think about what we want to accomplish in the next year. We base our planning on the needs of the test population at Microsoft as well as the goals of the overall organization we work in. In many cases, the work we planned to help testers at Microsoft overlapped with the goals of our management. For the rest of the potential work items, we’ll plan on doing the highest priority stuff and adjust as we go. We maintain a “product backlog” of our potential work items, and revisit and reprioritize often. I fully expect that six months from now we’ll be working on stuff we haven’t even thought about today.

It’s a fun time of year – there’s a ton of stuff to do, and the potential to help engineers across the company is huge. I’ll share more as we figure it out.