What is Issue tracking?
As any team supporting a product knows, issues will be encountered during its development and once it shipped as well, it requires the ability to manage issues throughout the lifecycle of a project and throughout the life of the resulting product.
It doesn’t matter if the team is building and providing a car, an item of clothing, a computing product or software release, getting the product launched, managing customer needs and improvements is a critical aspect of long-term product management and customer satisfaction.
Once a product is shipped, not only planned improvements need to be managed, but issues customers report when using the product also need to be considered. Issue tracking software makes it possible to track and manage issues that arise throughout a product’s lifecycle, from its initial design and implementation through iterative releases, particularly important to organizations using agile processes to build and maintain products.
Issue tracking software help teams record reported issues, their due dates for resolution and their assignment to individuals, making issue management far easier to incorporate into overall project management.
Typical features found in issue tracking software include:
- Ability to log and prioritize issues
- Addition of notes and documentation to issues
- Assigning issues to team members to resolve
- Grouping issues that might be related to a defect and relating them to a defect record
- Ability to keep customers informed, notified as issues are resolved
- Viewing, reporting on outstanding issues
Issue tracking software provides a system of record for all issues, enabling teams to investigate the issue; provide initial support to a customer; determine if the issue is known, global and whether it can be duplicated. As part of this process, they also enable the provider to respond to the customer once investigation (and possibly mitigation) is planned or completed.
By having all issues logged into a single system of record, issue tracking software:
- Enable easy prioritization
- Provide automated routing of issues to the right team
- Provide dashboards that are used to manage issues
- Enable accountability for resolving all reported issues
Issue tracking software can be embedded into a project or release management system or a stand-alone, desk product. When the issue tracking software is embedded into the project management process and with project and/or release management tools, they provide a highly effective way to manage issues related to defects as part of the release management process by embedding the work alongside requirements, other defects and enhancement are slated into releases based on their priority. Embedding issue tracking software in agile project management tools enables release planning to be responsive to customers by including their issues for resolution and managing them along with general release features.