Prioritizing Dataverse Github Issues

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Elizabeth Quigley

Apr 1, 2016, 4:04:04 PM4/1/16
to Dataverse Users Community

Hello Dataverse Community,

Starting this week, a group of us here on the Dataverse Team have begun to go through all of the open issues in the Dataverse software github repository. You might begin to see issues you have created change priority as well as a new priority labeling system start to be added to issues. Additionally, an effort label will be added to each issue.

How are we prioritizing issues?  Our plan is to determine the Severity and Impact to User then multiply Severity x Impact to User to determine the Priority. 

All four scales, Priority, Severity, Impact to User, and Effort, are included in this email to provide transparency on what the criteria is that we are using. 


P4: Critical, consider to fix immediately (score of 25)

P3: Serious, consider to include in the next release (score of 15-20)

P2: Moderate, consider to schedule in the next two or three releases (score of 6-12)

P1: Low, schedule when time is available (score of 1-5)


S5: Data loss, data corruption, or system unavailable

S4: Important functionality is unavailable with no workaround

S3: Important functionality is unavailable but has a reasonable workaround

S2: Secondary functionality is unavailable but has a reasonable workaround

S1: Cosmetic issues or some functionality unavailable but has a simple workaround.

Impact to User Scale:

i5: Affects most or all users and/or a very large range of system functionality

i4: Affects a large set of users and/or large range of system functionality

i3: Affects a moderate set of users and/or moderate range of system functionality

i2: Affects a small set of users and/or a small range of system functionality

i1: Affects a minimal set of users and/or a very small range of system functionality

Effort Scale:

E5: Epic-Too big for one release

E4: Extra Large-Greater than a week

E3: Large-Within a week

E2: Medium-One to two days

E1: Small-Within a day

Please let us know if you have any questions. 

Have a great weekend!



Elizabeth Quigley

User Experience Lead

The Institute for Quantitative Social Science

Harvard University

Ben Companjen

Apr 8, 2016, 5:59:40 AM4/8/16
Hi Elizabeth,

Thanks for explaining how you prioritise issues. I did see that some issues got new labels using the new scheme, so this wasn't an April Fool's :)
Also, the number of open issues went down from ~710 to ~685 – great to see you broke this (psychological) barrier! :)

I do have a couple of questions:
Would you recommend issue authors to include the severity and impact in the description of an issue? 
Are you allowing anyone to assign priority to new issues without specifying severity and impact?
Is it necessary to give an estimation of the effort when reporting an issue?

Keep up the good work – it is really great to see that there is a defined process for going from "everything has to be better in the next release" to "first things first".



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Elizabeth Quigley

Apr 12, 2016, 2:27:01 PM4/12/16
to Dataverse Users Community

Hi Ben,

Thanks for the nice words and questions! Since we are still in the beginning of using these scales and still navigating through the backlog of issues, we ask for authors to not include the severity, impact, and effort in issues they create. We will let the community know once we have used the scales enough and know they work well with all the Dataverse Github Issues (we’ve already had to adjust wording a few times). As in the past, authors who aren’t part of the Dataverse Development Team still aren’t able to add labels to issues and we aren’t sure yet if we will open up labels to the external community.

Thanks again!


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