Too many questions from too many sources

Problem: When redesigning an existing system from scratch or building something complex, there are naturally many, many, many questions. Your engineers will have questions. Your manager will have questions. Your stakeholders will have questions. You will have questions.


Solution: Set up a tracker for Open Questions. A tracker is simply a list that documents (i.e. tracks) of all the questions that need to be investigated.


Why this works: Questions come from many sources. Meeting notes. Slack. Email. Manager drive-by. Figma comments. All of these tools are terrible for tracking because those critical questions get lost in a sea of other communications. Take 1 minute and paste it in the tracker.


Tips:

  • Use a google doc or anything that allows for real-time collaboration.

  • Keep the document "clean". Keep it as close to a simple list of questions. Use comments in the margins for discussions, notes, etc.

  • Include a status. Keep it simple. In progress = actively working on it (e.g. scheduling meetings, creating diagrams, etc). Waiting = blocked or pending action from someone outside of the team. For example: [in progress - Lan + engineering] How do we implement one-click deployment?

  • Strikethrough anything that's done.

  • Move important items to the top.

  • Encourage everyone to use it.


About the author

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