Deciding how to handle partially completed tasks when you are going to be out of the office is something which crops up fairly regularly. Providing an update to your manager or other interested parties before leaving is always a good idea.
This might seem fairly obvious if you are going on annual leave for a couple of weeks, but what has become apparent recently is that making sure work could be continued in your absence is something we should be doing on a daily basis rather than just before annual leave. This may seem excessive but consider a scenario where illness or technical issues (PC failure) prevent you from continuing your work the next morning. Maybe you work on a laptop and it is lost or stolen.
To mitigate these risks there are a couple of simple, pain free things we can do:
- At the end of each day, take a couple of minutes to update the ticket or work item (user story or task) with your progress. What has been completed and what is left to do. This should help you when you return the task the next day as much as it would help someone else looking to pick the work up.
- If working on a task in TFS, update the time remaining field. You should have a good idea of how much work is left (in hours) so update this field accordingly.
- Create a shelfset for your current work in progress. Even if you are not ready to check it in or submit it for review you can create a shelfset back up of your work. Shelfsets are stored on the server, protecting you from local hardware issues or loss of laptops. It also means that if you have taken your laptop home with you we can still access the latest development version of the code.
- If you know you are going to be out of the office (annual leave etc) then it is always worth dropping your manager an email with a brief summary of what you're working on and where you are up to. If your support tickets are unsolved, it’s also good practice to communicate the summary to Samantha to ensure your tickets can be actioned or picked up in your absence.