One of the more powerful aspects of our bug tracking is that bugs can be closed but still assigned to a person. This makes sense when you realize the database tracks these two pieces of data separately. A bug can be either Active or Closed, and Assigned (to a human) or Assigned to Closed (status).

These bugs are rare. They usually have cropped up for me when I am testing a fix and am satisfied the fix is correct, but for some reason I don't want to let go of the bug completely. I have a very obvious use for this functionality. Sometimes I track bugs I may want to blog about using this technique. In this case, the bug in question is fixed, tested and ready to ship. But I still have some non-OneNote work to do: namely, write a blog article about it. The way I track some of these bugs is to leave it assigned to me but in the "Closed" state. This way when we query about the number of bugs/work items we are tracking to fix, this particular bug will not show.

It still represents work for me to fully close it, though. If nothing else, I have to boot our interfacing application, find bugs assigned to me, open the bug, manually read through it to verify to myself that all I intended here was to write a blog post about the bug then toggle the field and save it. This can take anywhere from 10 seconds to several minutes or more.

Now imagine I have 60 of these in this state. That is anywhere from an hour to a day or even more for me to work through all of them. That time needs to be accounted for somewhere and I need to keep an eye on these bugs so that I don't face a situation in which I have days of test debt piling up on me.

This all came about because someone on the team was asking about bugs in this state and if we can ignore them. The answer is no, we cannot ignore them. The time needed to get them completely closed simply can be too great and can cause other work to fall behind.

This may not make a lot of sense but I hope I explained it pretty well. In other words, even many very small work items can pile up to cause a disruption in our schedule so we need to pay attention to bugs like this and keep them under control.

Questions, comments, concerns and criticisms always welcome,

John