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The “Matrix”

Dave Whalen
Whalen Technologies
Overview
 Quick Review: Triage
 Severity vs. Priority
 What is the “Matrix”?
 Why do we need the Matrix?
 Using the Matrix
Quick Review – Triage
 French – “sorting”
 A system used by software development
teams to ration limited technical
resources when the number of defects
needing resolution exceeds the resources
available to correct and verify them so as
to resolve the greatest number of defects
possible. (My definition)
Severity vs. Priority
 Often use interchangeably
 NOT THE SAME THING!
 Severity – defines the impact the defect
has on the customer and likelihood of
occurrence
◦ Obscure Fatal System Error vs. Spelling Error
 Priority – determines the order in which
defects will be fixed/resolved and retested
◦ Obscure Fatal System Error vs. Spelling Error
Determining Severity & Priority
 Initially defined during defect discovery
 Validated during “Triage”
 Ordinal data
◦ Not numeric, relative ranking only
◦ Highly subjective!
 How many levels?
◦ Between 4 & 5
◦ Odd vs. Even
◦ Order (1-4, 4-1)
Priority
 Defects should be resolved based on
Priority NOT Severity!
 Answers 2 Questions:
◦ What do we fix?
◦ When do we fix it?
 Based on:
◦ Impact on the Customer (Impact or Severity)
◦ Resolution Difficulty (Difficulty)
 Time
 Resources
The “Matrix”
 Visual tool or …
 “Mental” process
 Assists in evaluating
and prioritizing
defect resolution
 Ranking
 2 Factors:
◦ Difficulty (x-axis)
◦ Severity/Impact (y-
axis)
The “Matrix” – What To Fix?
 Assess defects in
terms of:
◦ Difficulty – 4 levels
◦ Severity/Impact – 4
levels
 Plot results
◦ 16 possible points
◦ Note: no fence-sitting
The “Matrix” – What To Fix?
 Assign Priority based
on Quadrant (Q-
Score)
 Q-Score = Priority
◦ QI = Priority 1
◦ QII = Priority 2
◦ QIII = Priority 3
◦ QIV = Priority 4
 Additional ranking
within a Quadrant
The “Matrix” – When To Fix It?
 QI - Priority 1
◦ Low Difficulty, High
Impact
◦ Fix it Now!
 QII – Priority 2
◦ High Difficulty, High
Impact,
◦ Prior to next build
The “Matrix” – When To Fix It?
 QIII – Priority 3
◦ Low Difficulty, Low
Impact
◦ Defer to next minor
release (dot release –
1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc.)
 QIV – Priority 4
◦ Low Difficulty, High
Impact
◦ Defer to next major
release (2.0, 3.0, 4.0,
etc.)
Summary
 Quick Review: Triage
 Severity vs. Priority
 What is the “Matrix”?
 Why do we need the Matrix?
 Using the Matrix
Questions?
 Contact Information
◦ Email
 david.whalen@comcast.net
◦ Instant Messenger
 MSN: david.whalen@comcast.net
 Yahoo: dave_whalen14@yahoo.com
 More Stuff
◦ www.stickyminds.com
◦ Search on “whalen”