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Andy Leonard

Andy Leonard is CSO of Linchpin People and SQLPeople, an SSIS Trainer, Consultant, and developer; a Business Intelligence Markup Language (Biml) developer; SQL Server database and data warehouse developer, community mentor, engineer, and farmer. He is a co-author of SQL Server 2012 Integration Services Design Patterns. His background includes web application architecture and development, VB, and ASP. Andy loves the SQL Server Community!
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Meme Monday–Dear Microsoft, For Christmas This Year…

This post is a response to Tom LaRock’s (Blog | @SQLRockstar | SQLPeople) awesome idea: Meme Monday.

… I would like a revamp of Microsoft Connect. Feedback is part of any good Continuous Improvement endeavor. I like the idea of Connect – a lot. It’s a decently-designed portal, in my humble opinion. It allows me to report issues and request functionality with SQL Server. That part all works fine.

I would like for Microsoft to change the way Connect Items are managed and the communication around the status of filed items.

I think we need more statuses. “Closed Won’t Fix” sounds a little harsh, don’t you think? “By Design” sounds like “You’re Doing It Wrong”. Maybe I’m just being sensitive here. Instead, how about:

  • We agree it is a bug but we do not have time this cycle release, we will file it away for the next release or SP.
  • We agree this is a bug but we do not think many will encounter this issue.
  • This is something we didn’t consider.
  • We do not think this is a bug.

Perhaps it would be enough if every closed bug required a non-generic explanation of why it was closed.

I ask that the good people at Microsoft consider my meta-feedback: I believe they are smart enough to make this really cool feedback site more useful. I bet if they do, they will get more and better feedback – especially from people who anxiously anticipate each new Release Candidate (RC) or Community Technology Preview (CTP) of The Next Cool Thing.

As it stands, Connect is mostly an engine of loss. I sincerely hope “Connect Items Closed” is not a metric in some variation of Performance-Based Management (PBM) for the development teams at Microsoft. Why? Because impeding open and honest feedback is a quality-killer (a lot of PBM kills quality – go read that post).

o<:{> 
Andy

Published Monday, December 05, 2011 3:00 PM by andyleonard
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Karen Lopez said:

Good points, Andy.

I've always wondered about the product approach of needing every issue closed before a release.  On my projects, we have a status of Deferred. That means we know it's something that needs to be changed, but we can't commit to when.

That seems to me to be a nice balance of "Yes, we agree, but we haven't done the planning yet to know when to make the change."

I agree that "won't fix" is a real turn off, especially when there is no reason given.

December 8, 2011 1:04 PM
 

Ralph Wilson said:

Microsoft isn't the only company using the PBM approach.  The company I recently left (for a better, less stressful, higher paying, and more fun gig ;-) had a fairly new Help Desk Manager who started sending out emails with attached lists of all open tickets (both Help Desk and Change Request tickets).  Of course, when you have Business Users who keep changing the requirements while at the same time refusing to assist in reviewing and testing anything, everything took a while.  Since the list of open tickets was fairly long, it seemed as though IT was lazy and failing to respond to user requests.  

Then came the day that he sent out a "Why haven't these been closed?" request . . . to the CIO, among others.  That email prompted another one (this time from the CIO) demanding that all tickets should be closed NOW!  That prompted our Production DBA (a fairly recent acquisition) to arbitrarily close all of the tickets assigned to the DBA team . . . except for those that _he_ was working on.  His actions resulted in a flurry of irate emails from Business Users who were complaining that the projects that were associated with the newly closed tickets were broken, malfunctioning, or prematurely implemented and causing or going to cause major work stopages.  However, the Open Tickets Report _DID_ look a whole lot better. ;-)

My chief complaint with the Sr. DBA's actions was that he closed several of _my_ tickets with the the message "Ralph completed this." and that got _me_ in a LOT of hot water with the Business Users I was supporting.  Even though the Sr. DBA's name was in the history on the ticket, nobody read the _history_, they just read the last comment in the ticket and then started yelling at me for closing the tickets.

I couldn't blame the Business Users (much) because one of _my_ pet peaves is for tickets _I_ have initiated to be arbitrarily closed (usually without notice or cmment) with messages like, "Couldn't replicate the problem." or "Everything looked okay to me."  My all-time favorite response, with regard to a ticket involved with my web site, was "Closed ticket after trying unsuccessfully to log into the web site as the administrator."  (Guess what _I_ was having trouble with. ;-)

December 9, 2011 3:11 AM

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