Bringing Fog Bugz into Your Company

The first hurdle to using FogBugz is to get it used at all. Here, the first few cases may be the hardest. After people see how easy FogBugz is to use, and how much it helps them work, they'll probably start using it on their own. So how do you jump-start the process?

If you sign the paychecks, you can just tell everyone to use the new bug-tracking system. But this may not be the most effective option. Telling programmers what to do has frequently been referred to as "herding cats," and it is just about as effective. Instead, start using FogBugz yourself. Put in some bugs or feature requests (if you don't know enough about your own company's products to make sensible feature requests, why are you in charge?). Then you can suggest to people that they'd better keep an eye on the system if they don't want to lose your valuable input. This will usually get through.

If you're a manager, and nobody seems to be using FogBugz, start assigning new features to your team using FogBugz. Eventually they'll realize that instead of coming into your office every few days saying "What should I do next?" they can just see what's assigned to them in FogBugz. If you're using an agile process where new features get assigned during a consensual meeting, have someone enter the features into FogBugz right there at the meeting.

If you're a developer, and you're having trouble getting testers to use FogBugz, just don't accept bug reports by any other method. If your testers are used to sending you e-mail with bug reports, just bounce the e-mails back to them with a brief message: "Please put this in the bug database. I can't keep track of e-mail." If you're a developer, and only some of your colleagues use FogBugz, just start assigning them bugs. Eventually they'll get the hint.

If you're a tester, and you're having trouble getting programmers to use FogBugz, just don't tell them about bugsā€”put them in the database and let the database e-mail them. This can be especially effective if you can also convince the manager for the project to subscribe to the RSS feed for the bugs. Most developers have at least enough political savvy to want to stay as informed as their boss.

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