Back at the startup, we were shifting gears. After six months of talking about shipping a product, we needed to ship a product, and nothing gets everyone's attention like a deadline. The good news was that QA had been doing its job, and there was a pile of work in our bug database. The bad news was that no one had looked at the database in months.
We had a rent-a-VP at the time, and as temporary executives go, he was sharp. He quickly deduced our goal—ship a quality beta—but he also quickly discerned that we had no idea about the quality of the product because of our pile of untriaged bugs.
He called a meeting with the QA manager, the tech support manager, and me. His advice: "Triage every single bug in this ...