The Two Most Important Roles of IT Issue Tracking Software

Running a Project WITHOUT Issue Tracking Software

Running a Project WITHOUT Issue Tracking Software

I have been fortunately cursed with many years of experience in internal software development and consulting for clients on a variety of technology projects, software testing, and quality assurance efforts.  Over time, I started connecting the dots and seeing things that were not so obvious in the beginning.  In retrospect, I discovered two major roles of IT issue tracking software, regardless of how it is being used (tracking defects and non-conformance items, capturing customer requests and feedback, bug tracking, or issue management.)

Role #1: The Scoreboard

From my point of view, the most important role of IT issue tracking software is to be “The Scoreboard”, a single, centralized repository used by the team to understand the project’s status. Before co-founding, I knew there was critical need for a centralized repository of issues for any given project, but early on in my career, I didn’t understand just how critical this role was. Project teams and program management are struggling to complete the work. It is challenging enough when everyone knows what the issues are, who is assigned to which tasks, and what the priorities are. By taking away the scoreboard – or having too many that are conflicting or complicated – you understand why so many projects fail to meet the objectives of the project.

Role #2: The Organizer

IT issue tracking software also plays the critical role of organizer, providing realistic capabilities to manage, prioritize, and re-prioritize the chaos as it happens. Think of terms like “shifting priorities”, “limited resources”, “lack of communication”, and “information overload”, and you can start to feel a migraine coming on. Without effective software, the chances of staying on top and keeping important tasks and issues from slipping through the cracks are slim at best.

There are other roles played by IT issue tracking software, but in my humble opinion, the scoreboard and organizer are the top two.

What other roles do you see issue tracking software playing in your organization? Leave your comments below.

“Change does not necessarily assure progress, but progress implacably requires change.”
– Henry Steele Commager

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