How to found old information in Done issue?

  • I work in a company and we use TargetProcess (a Jira fork) as Project Management to manage our work in Agile style (Scrum).

    It works quite well. We write issues ("Epic", "Feature", "User Story" and "Tasks") and when issues are in the backlog and not "Done", it's easy to found what we need to do.

    The problem is when issues are marked done, they are lost in the huge "Done Backlog". At the present time, we have about 50'000 issues.

    So we have frequently conversation like :

    • "Do you remember when we worked on this US ? I have the same problem again."
    • "Oh, yes I remember. But I can't find the US."

    So we create the same US and have to investigate again despite the fact we already have the solution in our Project Management. The problem is we can't perform efficiency search in 50'000 issues and hundred of Epic.

    How to do to find information in done issues ? Maybe software like Jira / TarjetProcess / kanbanize / BacLog and other softwares are only for the current job and are not designed to work efficiency with old done issues ?

    EDIT :

    Maybe we do not use Project Management in the right way ? Project Management are designed to manage current work and not old ?

    Maybe we need to write link to the issue in the documentation ? and the documentation is the actual state of the art and the issue explains the reason of the decision ?

    The big problem is I have no idea how to tidy up done issues.

  • Two things stand out:

    • Tools for work management or project management aren't necessarily the best for knowledge management.
    • Traceability can go a long way.

    I'm not familiar with Targetprocess as a tool, but I took a quick look at their website. It looks like a generic issue tracker. Often, issue trackers are good for identifying work that needs to happen and prioritizing it and assigning it to teams or individuals. But often, it's difficult to search and sort all of the done issues.

    Rather than using your project management or issue tracking tool, consider a tool that is more focused on knowledge management. There are different options. For most kinds of projects, a wiki may be a good choice. For software projects, some information could be kept inside of a /docs directory within the project. For large enterprises, document management tools may also be beneficial.

    In addition to a knowledge management tool, bidirectional traceability between the issue tracker and the work and the references in the knowledge management tool is extremely helpful. For example, I use the Atlassian suite (Jira, Confluence, and Bitbucket) as well as GitHub (for issues, wiki, and source code). Given an issue, I can find other issues where it's mentioned or linked, wiki pages that reference the issue, and source code (including plain text documentation files). I can also navigate from history in source code files to the issues associated with those changes and back to documentation. This helps tie together information that may live in various places through not only searching, but also linking.

    I'm not sure that tidying up your done issues is appropriate, but you can start by creating documentation and linking what you can when it's possible. When you have questions, start by searching through your existing documentation and done issues and link what is possible. It is a balancing act between backfilling documentation and linking work and making progress on new and future work. Focus on what you do going forward.

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