Next Update is an intentionally small company obsessed with software quality and making the software development and testing process more approachable for even the least technically inclined. These days, the team works exclusively on Sifter and shares ideas for improving software quality.

We rely on Sifter extensively. For us, Sifter goes way beyond an issue tracker and handles almost all of our asynchronous communication. If it needs a decision or discussion, we’ll log an issue, and it will go through the resolution process just like a bug would.

The biggest benefit of making decisions through Sifter is that we’re able to maintain an easily searchable archive of our decisions and reasoning. So in addition to giving us a structured way to make decisions, we’re able to easily reference the thought process behind old decisions when we want to revisit those decisions. This also helps when we have whimsical ideas that may not be a high priority. That way we can still record our thoughts and not have to redo the entire conversation whenever we actually get around to implementing that idea.

Sifter’s milestones really help wrap our heads around where things are at. Since we all work remotely and on different schedules, we tend to be working on three or four separate enhancements to Sifter at any given time. Cycling these through design, development, QA, and releases is simple and straightforward when we can compare active milestones against each other and see how many outstanding issues are remaining before something is ready to ship.

Finally, and unsurprisingly, Sifter streamlines our testing. With only one full-time team member and several remote folks all working different hours, having a shared issue tracking tool helps us work asynchronously. One person tests one day, logs any new issues, and then the other team member can get to work resolving those issues without any extra communication.

By the Numbers

  • Founded In 2008
  • Sifting Since 2008 (Of course.)
  • Company Size 5-ish
  • Average Team Size 1-3
  • Releases Per Year 75-100
  • Average Iteration Length 2-4 weeks
Our entire goal is to make quality assurance accessible to small teams and non-technical users, and we're thrilled to be able to use Sifter every day to help other teams ship better software too.Garrett Dimon Founder

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