The Bug Cap

I’ve just watched the Agile at Microsoft video, that shows how the Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) team at Microsoft adopted an Agile mindset and culture. The whole video is interesting but there was one item in particular that caught my eye, which is named the Bug Cap.

The Bug Cap is a simple strategy to keep the bug count low, in order to preserve the software quality. In other words, if your bug count exceeds your bug cap you stop working on new features until you’re back under the cap.

This is the formula suggested by the VSTS Team to calculate the bug cap:

For example, having 5 engineers in one team the bug cap would be:

5 X 5 = 25

Let’s suppose that the bug count at some stage is 30 – this means that the team should stop working on new features until the bug count is less than 25.

This is a very simplistic rule but I guess this is a good starting point in order to limit the number of bugs per sprint and avoid chaos. I guess you can try it with different formulas as well, such as multiplying per 3 or 4 – whatever works for you 🙂

You can watch the whole video here (the bug cap topic starts around 00:29:01):