Using Due Dates

You can assign any case within FogBugz a due date. In most cases you won't want developers to be assigning their own due dates. Instead, plan on having a manager review each case and decide when it must be finished (this is one good reason to keep your project manager as the default user for the project, so that they get to see new cases first). FogBugz allows a flexible syntax for entering due dates. For example, all of these are valid due dates:

• The day after tomorrow

In every case, FogBugz will replace the due date with an actual date and time when you leave the data entry textbox.

In addition to entering due dates by hand, you can also set up FogBugz to automatically calculate and enter due dates for one particular class of cases: cases submitted via e-mail. That's because these cases are most likely to be submitted directly by your customers, and so will require attention in a reasonable period of time. If you make this time short enough, you can even make it a marketing point for your company: "We respond to all customer inquiries within one working day!"

To configure automatic due dates, you need to edit the properties of the mailbox that receives the cases (remember, only administrators can edit mailbox properties). Scroll down the mailbox settings page until you find the Due section. By default, as shown in Figure 4-5, the system doesn't automatically assign due dates to incoming mail. This leaves you free to manage due dates for these cases manually, just as you do any other due dates.

FogBugz will not assign a due date to incoming email.

Figure 4-5. A mailbox without an automatic due date

To have FogBugz calculate a due date for you, click the Automatic option button in the Due Date section. Then choose a unit of time. Figure 4-6 shows setting a 6-hour response time for incoming e-mails to this particular mailbox.

C None | i* Automatic

Incoming email will be due in:

Determine Working Schedule and Holidays

Figure 4-6. A mailbox with an automatic due date

You can select from four different units of time:

• Working Hours

The difference is that Hours and Days are absolute time, while Working Hours and Working Days take into account your organization's schedule. For example, suppose that your working hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, with weekends off. If a bug comes in at 4 p.m. on Friday afternoon, here's when it would be due under various scenarios:

• With a 4-hour response time, it would be due at 8 p.m. that same Friday.

• With a 4-working-hour response time, it would be due at 11 a.m. the following Monday.

• With a 2-day response time, it would be due at 4 p.m. on Sunday.

• With a 2-working-day response time, it would be due at 4 p.m. on the following Tuesday.

■Note Administrators can follow the link that says "Determine Working Schedule and Holidays" to change the hours that are considered working hours. You can set up the days of the week when you work and the hours of each day when you work, and you can provide a list of holidays when you don't work at all. See Chapter 3 for more details on configuring the working schedule.

■Tip Even if you set a day or time as outside working hours, you can always manually force a case to be due at that time.

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