Tracking OpenMRS Platform Tech Debt

Several times a week, people mention ideas or concerns to me that sound like tech debt we should be tracking and prioritizing.

So: How have we tended to track & prioritize OpenMRS’ backend tech debt?

i.e. do we have a spreadsheet somewhere? Are we relying on a particular label in Jira?

If we don’t have a clear strategy - what would you find useful?

@dkayiwa @burke @ibacher @mogoodrich @mseaton @cintiadr @ssmusoke @mksd any thoughts?

@grace You could help by putting those ideas/issues into a Google Doc so that we can get a sense of what you are getting so that we can advise better

IMO Technical debt should be tracked with just a label in JIRA, nothing more since its still work to be done

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:heart_eyes: Glad you asked! I’ve been trying to keep track of some of these lately here: Backend-Related Feedback - Google Docs

Attempted to group by theme but I may have misunderstood a few.

This makes sense to me too. So a label or component something like “tech-debt”.

Minor caveat that stuff that sits around in Jira without getting attention would end up as being flagged as Graveyard Candidates during our ~quarterly Graveyard initiatives, but that’s not a bad thing; it would force us to regularly decide if any elderly tech debt tickets need to be Graveyarded or re-prioritized. Which is what the Graveyard initiatives do for tickets in general, tech debt or not. (BTW Have I ever mentioned how grateful I am to you @ssmusoke for your past idea of the “Graveyard” name and your support in setting those up?!)

Exactly, technical debt, new features and issues are all the same so we have to look for opportunities to re-evaluate them regularly

You are welcome @grace sad that it had to be such an ominous concept but it has value

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Would we consider here tech debt for the OpenMRS application itself or other things from the community infrastructure?

If anything, the infra tech debt is something I maintain mostly in my head and random ad-hoc comments, I never really wrote it down :upside_down_face:

… not intentionally, mind you. I just never thought about it.

I’d prefer it in confluence pages, as it’s easier for me to write things down there and search for it later.

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@cintiadr You are so right that is tech debt too, not just the application itself, as the infrastructure is probably one of the most critical aspects of the community operations

I suspect there is a project to which the issues can be added as and when you run into them so that they are tracked and managed over time to give visibility into the infra gaps

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@ssmusoke do you mean the ITSM Jira project?

FWIW @cintiadr I had this in mind as well. If you find a confluence page easier to get the thoughts out of your head, go for it, and I can turn these into Jira issues in ITSM for you.