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CODING TEAM THEORY: Long-Running PRs

· coding,team

Long-running pull requests are PRs that have been open for a very long time (more than a week).

Often in long-running PRs, you’ll notice a few back-and-forth comments, then radio silence. A PR that is a week old can quickly become irrelevant, especially in fast-moving teams. Long-running PRs can also become bottlenecks.

HOW TO RECOGNIZE IT

Long-running PRs can quickly be identified and filtered by 'open' PR status and sorted by the oldest.
It’s worth checking in to see how you can move the conversation forward.

WHAT TO DO

It’s usually best to first check in with the Submitter.
It’s THEIR RESPONSIBILITY to get their work across the line.
If there is a disagreement, get their read on it and offer advice to move it forward.
Depending on the situation, get the Reviewer’s read on it as well.
Make a decision, and ask anyone that disagrees to ‘disagree and commit’.

To manage this pattern in the long term, consider setting expectations or targets around Time to First Comment, and Time to Resolve.
Do timely response — when it takes engineers a day to respond to feedback;
that can mean there’s a lot of time spent waiting on others, it should be improved

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