Dones - Do you include useful details in your 'Done' email?

Last updated by Tiago Araújo [SSW] 18 days ago.See history

An email with just the word "done" can often be enhanced with a screen capture or code snippet. Obviously this is also valid for tasks/requests.

In any email you send, include relevant information, such as URLs, screenshots, and pieces of code/text that will allow others to understand what was done or needs to be done straight away.

Benefits

  • Improved visibility and transparency - The recipients can see the work actually being done
  • Reduced cost of fixing a bug - the cost of a bug goes up based of the length of time taken for the client to ask for a change. If you tell a developer to change something they did today, it is many times cheaper for them to fix than if they got the same request 2 months later (when they have forgotten what it was about)
  • The client can raise questions based on what they see in the code
  • Finally, in the very unlikely case that the code repository and backup goes corrupt, your emails are a backup!

Examples

Figure: Bad example - "Done" email lacks details

Figure: Good example - "Done" email has a link, a screenshot, and code changes

Tips

  • Use balloons instead of a 'Wall of Text'
  • On browser screenshots, make sure you include the top-left area - so others can see the URL and what browser is being used. E.g. Chrome or Edge
  • If you are using Azure DevOps or GitHub, you should also include a URL to the work item
  • Include a .diff file for greater code/text changes
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