Geoff Price: Last Wednesday was our general “ZBB” target for the Office 2008 project, a major milestone on the road to release and something we’ve been pushing hard for over the past several months. We saw some fantastic surging by the development team to clear out backlogged product issues late into Wednesday night. Thursday, we sat down to review project status and metrics in depth, and to hear all teams report out on their plans and readiness to lock down for release. The bottom line takeaway that you may be most interested in: all teams have confirmed readiness to ship on the current schedule. As previously announced, this means RTM in December and general availability starting on January 15th (by region).
ZBB what? This stands for Zero Bug Bounce, or as alternately phrased, Zero Bug Backlog. At this point we have been logging, tracking and verifying all changes to the product in great detail for some time – collectively we refer to this list of logged issues as the “bug list”, though in reality it includes a variety of issues including bug/defect reports, tracking records for artwork or content, usability improvements, numerous suggestions (submitted by team members or beta testers, or representing customer or partner requests), and various other categories of issues. The ZBB milestone is defined as the date across which we will no longer carry logged product issues that are more than one week old. Hence, the “backlog” of issues has been cleared out, and all older pending decisions on what we are or are not going to change before we ship have been made. It also means that the developers have “caught up” or “outpaced” the incoming find rate of our test efforts.