Monday, August 27, 2007

When “showstopper” fails to describe a showstopper

Here’s a true story I was planning on saving for a future book, but since we just had a newborn son, the book is on hold.

Webster defines the term “Showstopper” as “one that stops or could stop the progress, operation, or functioning of something”. Hence “showstopper” is a good term to use when categorizing Bugs in software that prevent its release. Management disagrees.

It was communicated to me recently that the term “showstopper” should be changed to “critical” for all open Bugs. Why? Although second hand, this is what I was told: Apparently in management’s eyes, the term “showstopper” did not accurately describe a Bug that is a showstopper. Did I just hear that right?

That decision couldn’t have happened with less than five meetings and four hundred emails.

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