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I have a meeting tomorrow to discuss concerns about the many bugs inside of an application I recently upgraded.

How do I prepare for such a meeting?

  • 1
    Imagine you are the client. What do you think they are going to want? – Keltari Nov 6 '19 at 23:59
  • 1
    @Keltari, an explanation of why there are so many bugs. – Daniel Nov 7 '19 at 0:17
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    @Daniel As a software developer, significant majority of users have zero comprehension of why bugs exist, and none of them will accept responsibility of contributing to the problem (What do you mean I can't keep 500 tabs opened in Chrome and play 15 YouTube videos at the same time? What do you mean the requirements are changed every week? I am the customer, I'm always right! etc., etc.) – Nelson Nov 7 '19 at 2:38
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    How to prepare for a meeting about lots of bugs: Bring a fly-squatter and a can of raid.. ;) – iLuvLogix Nov 7 '19 at 12:27
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    Why are there a lot of bugs? – Kilisi Nov 7 '19 at 12:51
10

Try to front-foot the conversation and prepare:

  • Identify a list of all bugs you're aware of
  • Make a note of the status of each bug (i.e. Outstanding, work in progress, resolved etc)
  • Identify which ones you feel are the most important
  • Consider some recommendations to fix the bugs

If I was attending a meeting I would want to be well prepared and not caught like a deer in the headlights. Good luck!

  • 3
    This is good stuff, but the most important thing is make sure you are listening to the client. If you treat it as a defensive exercise, in which you try to convince him that you are on top of everything and everything you are not on top of isn't important you risk missing the feedback on what the client thinks is important. – DJClayworth Nov 7 '19 at 19:07
  • @DJClayworth What a great point, I absolutely agree. – ChrisFNZ Nov 8 '19 at 23:11
5

While doing your own prep in terms of issues and potential solutions is important, you should also prepare for the emotional element.

Often in this kind of meeting the client wants to be heard as much as anything else. Mentally prepare to let the affected parties vent without taking anything personally or becoming defensive. Be ready to respond in the affirmative to the various points in a neutral way, with a words like 'understood', 'okay', 'uh-huh', 'I'll make a note of that', etc.

After they have expressed initial concerns, ask if there is anything else. Continue asking that question and responding calmly/neutrally until until they run out of things to say.

After that initial venting session, you should be able to move the discussion on to next steps in a productive way, focussing on prioritization and solutions for moving forward.

I find it helpful to remember (and sometimes mention) that from NASA to Microsoft to Apple, nobody is shipping bug free code. Bugs happen, this is normal, it's the next steps that matter.

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What you say is a bit unclear. If you installed a new version of your company’s software at a customer site, and the customer is unhappy with the many bugs in the new version, then the most important thing for you to do is that you agree with the right people at your company what you can say to make the customer happier than they are right now.

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