Organizing issue tracking vs using it

A few days ago, I had a thought: no matter how well-organized our issue tracker is, it won’t replace actually using it.

I’m also involved in development of StreetComplete, which has a pretty different approach to project management: It just uses GitHub issues (and now discussions), plus a small number of labels. There’s no milestones or epics or kanban or anything like that. I manually maintain an index to help locate some often-referenced posts that are harder to find. Tobias tries to keep the number of open issues below 100. That’s all. There’s currently exactly 100 open issues and 2427 closed issues (for reference, Snowdrift has 206 open / 472 closed).

It’s not very organized, but it works. When we start repeating a past conversation, someone will usually remember or be able to find and link back to it. They mostly don’t need special labels or organization, they just remember what to search for, because they’re using it frequently. In our case, it’s the opposite: if we rarely use GitLab, it doesn’t matter how well organized it is. It’s always going to be hard to find something if you don’t remember what you’re looking for.

I mentioned this in a conversation with @wolftune and he summarized it well: "You don’t need a map to walk around your own neighborhood."

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