In a perfect world, business would be carried out flawlessly, and everything would go exactly as planned. Development of products, services, projects, and everything else your business concerns itself with would move from ideation to perfect completion without a hitch. As you well know, this is not a perfect world. As a project manager who spent years putting out fires big and small, I know how frustrating it can be to keep track of and efficiently troubleshoot and address issues while maintaining your business's daily chores. In this article, I'll explore the topic of Issue Tracking, from problem identification, through the various tools available and all the way to solution execution.
Let's start by defining a few key terms. Issue tracking is the practice of identifying, logging, treating, and ultimately solving issues that stand in the way of your organizational goals. These problems can be generated by internal or external factors that act as roadblocks and need to be overcome to continue growth or progress. Software development companies like Microsoft realized that corporate consumers stand to benefit from digital products that can make the issue tracking process easier, faster, and more effective, releasing tools called Issue Tracking Software.
Issue Tracking Solutions
Issue Tracking Software are digital tools that streamline the process of Issue tracking, facilitating effective tracking from end to end. They generally work on the principle of consolidated and well-ordered dynamic lists. As the problem is diagnosed and the solution is applied, the issue entry, usually called the Ticket, is updated and maintained until the problem is solved and even stored afterward for archival purposes. Issue Tracking Software allows teams to consolidate and effectively collaborate on finding solutions. These applications deploy a powerful outcome-oriented approach to development. Issue Tracking is a crucial facet of resource allocation and priority management and is an apparatus that must run smoothly for your organization to function efficiently.
The practice of Issue Tracking, and by extension, Issue Tracking Software, are used in a wide variety of contexts from individual contractors and vendors to the very largest of businesses and institutions in the world. One of the most common use cases for Issue tracking in business is its application in customer service issues. Customers are issued a ticket upon the first contact, which contains information about the customer as well as the issue they are experiencing. This Ticket moves through the solution process within the organization, passing from desk to desk until the matter is resolved to the degree that satisfies the organization's customer service best practices. All the while, the customer experiences a unified and concerted effort to fulfill their needs. Another use case for Issue Tracking is in internal problem tracking. This practice involves members of a team utilizing the issue tracking workflow to log their issue and then track progress on the solution in a way that aggregates important information to be viewed by both their peers and their superiors. This provides managers with a powerful tool to diagnose and then remedy bottlenecks and recurring issues by making relevant information easily accessible. Issue Tracking and the software that helps accomplish it raise the caliber of work output by identifying shortcomings. Issue Tracking is used frequently in both waterfall and agile workflows and acts as a check and balance for internal and external matters.
In order to draw a clearer picture of what exactly issue tracking looks like in practice, I'll lay out two example scenarios; one internal and one external.
A man is having issues filing his taxes and is advised by his family to call the government body responsible for tax collection in his country. He calls and is connected with a service representative whose job is to help the man file his taxes. The representative, at this point, immediately creates an issue ticket, populating it with all relevant information about both the customer and the issue in question. She determines that she cannot solve his problem by herself, so she tells the man that he'll receive a call from a supervisor at a later date. When that date arrives, the supervisor analyzes the Ticket that the representative wrote and sets about solving the problem, contacting the man, and troubleshooting with him until the matter is resolved. The Ticket provided continuity throughout the process and made the external issue easier to resolve.
A software developer is working on a work project when she realizes that there is a recurring issue with a recent update. She creates an issue ticket and publishes it to her peers, logging what the issue was and what triggered it, along with all other relevant information. At the next staff meeting, the developer and her peers communicate about the Ticket, discussing possible causes and getting to work trying to solve the problem. They continue to update the Ticket until the matter is completely resolved. This internal use of Issue Tracking makes the logistical headache of keeping track of and communicating complex information more efficient and less disorganized.
Issue Tracking Software
Issue Tracking was at one time done with a pen, and slips of paper (hence the word ticket) were passed from desk to desk in an office setting. Thankfully this is no longer the case, and there are a variety of Issue Tracking Tools available to the businesses of today to help them solve their problems. Infowise's help desk framework for our flagship product, Ultimate Forms, is one such tool. Ultimate Forms is an overhaul for Microsoft Sharepoint that adds a high degree of user-friendly customization, allowing you to create and manage logistics systems designed specifically for your organization. Helpdesk is a template created by our software developers here at Infowise to kickstart your Issue Tracking workflow. It Is a completely plug-and-play solution to Issue Tracking that can be further customized to suit your needs. If you have any questions about Issue Tracking, Help Desk, or Ultimate Forms, please feel free to reach out to us here at Infowise, or check out some of our other articles about Issue Tracking on the site. This is the first part of a three-part series on the topic of SharePoint Issue Tracking, so keep an eye out for the next two entries!
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