I manage a team of coders (5 people) that maintain a few modules in a large project.

On top of doing coding, we also do production operational tasks (like doing server housekeeping, batch backlog tracking).

These tasks are done daily, done by one person, and is rotated weekly.

The problem is this: These tasks are routine, but there I can't think of a practical way of ensuring the person does what he is supposed to do.

I thought of using spreadsheets to track, or to the extent of doing a paper checklist, which the person on duty will have to physically sign off.

I just want the person on duty to remember and execute every daily item.

What works on your project?


4 Answers 4


At my work, we have a wiki article that has all the steps that must be completed for a prod load to make sure everything is working properly.

The person who is doing the load is assigned a ticket in jira with key points on what has to be done for the load as well as a link to the wiki article. That person can add any of their notes to the ticket if they run into trouble so that there is a record of it.

It seems to work well for us.

Hope that helps.

  • Hello. The tasks are the same daily. Do you feel there is a lot of overhead to assign the same ticket daily?
    – M.C
    Commented Jul 1, 2011 at 15:33
  • It could be one ticket per week. Someplace that a person can add their comments about what happened. The following week when the next person starts the task, you could close the previous weeks one and make a new one for that person. This way if someone is sick, you can just assign the ticket to someone else and ask them to fill in and you'd have a record of that.
    – Tyanna
    Commented Jul 1, 2011 at 15:46
  • One per week is probably best, however if there is proven value in recording the activity each day there should be a daily ticket in a dedicated Housekeeping/Production project. If there is little value in the daily or even weekly record just use a Calendar application (Outlook, iCal what have you.) to assign the task daily (with email notification of course.) and have exceptions logged to the wiki. It really depends on your audit/logging needs.
    – ocodo
    Commented Jul 19, 2011 at 23:47

What I would personally do, is just create a text file (or sql table) that had the email addresses of your 5 devs, and some sort of character (or bit column in the case of a sql table) marking the person "on duty" that week.

On Mondays, your app moves "on duty" to the next name in the list, then emails a reminder note to the person. Tues-Fri, it simply emails the "on duty" person.

Set it up to run every morning Mon-Fri.

At that point you've done what you can to remind them, so the excuse "I forgot" is no longer valid.


Whenever you have recurring tasks that have to be performed periodically, the most efficient approach is to use a checklist.

Write your list of the periodic (daily) activities in a shared spreadsheet file. Depending on complexity of tasks and feed-ack expected, use a column for every period (day) or a sheet for every period:

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Some tricks that you should not forget to make it work:

  • put the name of the responsible team member on the sheet
  • let them fill in something when it's done; at least a timestamp, but a key indicator that have to gather during the task is better.
  • In the comments of the spreadsheet, remind what what the team is expected to provde as feed-back.

If you're collocated, you could even hang the printed checklist on the wall and let the people sign their accomplishment.

Remark: this checklist approach is proven for a wide variety of activities, ranging from high profile mission critical tasks, such as the verifications of a plane before take off, to low-profile simple tasks, such as hourly cleaning by the janitors. I used the format similar to above successfully in various situations: it's simple, peapole accept it for this reason, and you can see if everything is done as expected without bothering the colleagues.


We have tasks automatically generated in our tracking tool. Besides the reminder it provides an easy audit log. A task with multiple steps probably gets lumped into one task but we are espected to act as professionals and perform the task as described.

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