Last week I got a pretty smart question from a ProdPad free trial user that merits a bit more exploration.

We’ve talked in other blog posts about the difference between product and project management tools. In our vision of how product managers and development teams work together seamlessly, everything that could be done lives in a product management tool, and everything that will be done is transformed into project management tickets.

So as our insightful user pointed out, what about the little things? The bug reports and the minor issues? What’s too minor to make it into ProdPad?

The line you draw between ProdPad and project management tools like JIRA will be specific to your team dynamics and processes. But in general, to decide which workflow to begin with you can ask yourself whether a change is at all up for debate. Bugs can typically considered a development ‘to do’ item. When you’re simply looking at a broken piece of software that needs to be fixed, this should go straight into the development backlog and scheduled accordingly.

However when you get into the realm of ‘little things’, this question gets a little more complicated. A little thing might be a UX fix for something that’s confusing customers, a detail your team realises really should have been included in a previous release.

If something just needs to be done – and is dev-ready – it can bypass ProdPad. But check yourself on the following to help you decide whether that’s really the case:

  • Is there a chance this change will spark a debate as to whether it’s a good idea or not?
  • Are you able to provide JIRA with enough information right away for a developer to pick up this task without any further support?
  • Can this change realistically be delivered in the next few sprints?

These daily decisions ultimately come down to what you feel is appropriate and how you communicate. Guidelines are a good idea especially for larger teams, but training your product managers to ask intelligent questions and approach these workflows with the consequences in mind is the best way to avoid mixups or bottlenecks.

If you have any insight you can share on the ins and outs of how you manage a workflow between ProdPad and your development tools, drop a comment below!

How small is too small for idea management?
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