Principle of fixing the leak first

There was a software bug tracking system I found that was based on the principle of “fix the leak first”.

Their thesis was this: if your building is flooded, it makes sense to first fix the leak, and only then go about solving how to recover your building.

In software, your system software has many bugs, possibly hundreds of known bugs. First fix the new incoming bugs (fix any new bugs before moving on with other work). When this is stable, you can go about fixing existing bugs.

The approach would seem to work when you’re not being overwhelmed with a deluge of new incoming bugs/problems/issues.

I’ve attacked several inboxes on this approach lately, and it seems to work alright (it’s better than having no approach at all).

You can do the same with a full sink of dishes: first start by not introducing any new dirty dishes, clean them as you go.