Day 17 - Tidy your PRs/Issues

Let’s go extra meta today.

Please spend 20 minutes tidying up your PRs/issues/tickets/whatever.

If something is irrelevant, close or delete it.

If it something is old but might still be relevant, see if you can move it toward completion (or deletion). Try this: “This issue is quite old. I’m going to delete this early next week unless someone objects. That okay with you @whoever?”

If something is new and relevant, but not actionable, see if you can add or track down the information required to make it actionable.

I recommend working from oldest to newest.

As always, remember that the point isn’t to clean up all the things, it’s to spend 20 minutes chipping away at them.


I was just doing it this week, so we are already in a much better state then last week.

What worked for me in the past (if the whole team agrees) is have a regular (say monthly) “backlog trimming” meeting where you tidy up tickets (mostly archiving outdated ones, a bit prioritizing) and doing it ruthlessly

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Agree with you. We are doing a ~45min backlog trimming every 2 weeks where we go through what we have to determine what to do (eg. delete, make it more actionable, etc.). It works well!


  • We are using Linear and the tool make it easy to do so
  • We have a distinct place for “long-term vision” stuff
  • We don’t plan concrete TODOs for more than ~1.5 months in advance
  • When in doubt, we delete stuff and wait for it to come back naturally
  • Sometimes we “snooze” stuff so it comes back in a future backlog trimming session (but we try not to do it too much)

Finally, this kind of meeting generates a lot of interesting discussions between devs & product. I think that’s the main benefit aside from clarifying the backlog and removing noise.

We have a dedicated project manager for my project who keeps things pretty tight. I did find one issue that needed some more context, and I tagged the person responsible to ask for information. Otherwise, not much to do today!

I always find this challenging. I’m slowly learning that trying to put everything in one tool, JIRA for my current team, makes it more difficult for me to “let go” of things. I’ve started personal lists for long-term ideas, but would be interested in hearing other people manage the more “visionary” items.

There are so many things we could be doing, but our team is very small, just two dedicated people with frequent help from a third. The things we can’t do are often good ideas, but not the most urgent or valuable in the moment when they come up.