Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Responsibility Becomes Investigation. Are you an Investigator?

TeamCity has responsibility feature since the early days.

At first, it was introduced as an easy way to say to your buddy developers: "Hey, I've looked into the failure and I will try to fix it!". This was initially available only for build configurations but then was extended to individual test failures.

Then, we have got lots of request to allow assigning responsibility to other users. The reasoning is clear: I investigated a failure and figured out the dev who is to look into it. Now I want to ping him and let others know my findings right inside TeamCity UI.

But that is where social forces are brought into the play: we started to hear that many companies are not using "assign responsibility" because it sounds like blaming and the assigned party often gets a bit upset to say the least.

At that point we decided to rename responsibility into something other to reduce the "blame" impact. Choosing a good alternative took time and lots of considerations.
Finally, in 6.5 we are ready to introduce the renaming and are now using "investigation" instead of "responsibility".

One piece, though. How should we call a person who is investigating the failure?
Does "investigator" sounds right in the context? Should we stick with it or retreat to "assignee of the investigation"?
And we need your help here. Do you consider "investigator" a right term or not? Why?
Any alternatives you might suggest?

Please comment in the original issue or here.


JP said...

investigator seems perfect for us. PM's often send us emails telling us to "investigate" the issue.

if you want to be fun, you could call them "detectives" which are "investigating" the issue. :)

Geoff said...

I can't believe that you are changing this because a bunch of deniers can't handle the fact that either directly or indirectly, through no effort or every effort, they are responsible for the test failure.

Why don't you make the term editable so that an installation can decide what to call it with the default being responsibility ;)

Yegor Yarko said...


Making it editable would require quite an effort since it is used in many places and variations.

"Responsbility" has other issues too, like "Bob is responsible" :)

Still, would investigator be a good alternative or an awful one?

t800t8 said...

I don't even care it is "responsibility" or "investigation". If the reason to change it as in your post, it's problem of open mind ;-)

Kir Maximov said...

I like the idea of 'detective'.
Assignee - sounds boring and official.

Fahrenheit said...

I like Investigate and Detective sounds fun :-)
+1 for me.

Anti Money Laundering said...

Investigation may be likened to the long months of pregnancy, and solving a problem to the day of birth. To investigate a problem is, indeed, to solve it.

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.