“Issue tracking” is a general term that can hold a wide variety of meanings, depending on context. In a business context, an issue can be defined as any task or activity occurring in the course of the day’s work -- from complaint management to IT help desk to scheduled building maintenance. When an issue has time sensitivity, relevance to business success, or may incur consequences if left for too long, tracking how that issue is resolved takes on a greater significance.
Issue tracking becomes more critical during times of change. An organization that’s undergoing rapid expansion will suddenly have a lot more to keep track of than before it began to grow. Similarly, an organization may be able to handle IT help desk requests using a spreadsheet or email system if it’s been the status quo for many years. But if the business is moving, adding substantial numbers of staff, or putting new systems into place – the spreadsheet begins to show the strain.
Every department and industry has unique issues to track. Marketing, finance, facilities management, human resources, and retail organizations all manage recurring tasks and externally driven activities like complaint management. However, departments across the board struggle to stay current with spreadsheets and other manual tracking processes.
The solution? Issue tracking software.
No matter what the issue or when it is reported, three immediate challenges arise for issue tracking: capturing the issues, acting on them effectively, and reporting on how the issue was resolved. That last point is critical; a consistent complaint about the organizational process is that problems that are heatedly discussed at one meeting are subsequently ignored. It’s as if the process of discussing them is enough to make them disappear. But that’s not the way to build customer or employee satisfaction.
It is critically important to create a process for capturing business-critical issues and tracing their path to resolution. Moreover, if you have a central repository of regularly occurring issues, you can easily analyze that data and use it to make strategic decisions. This all starts with implementing a dedicated issue tracking software solution that everyone at your organization can access.
Here are the three key reasons why you need to have a formal issue tracking system:
You can keep track of every issue, regardless of the department or the nature of the problem. If there’s a solution to a frequently asked question, or one department has discovered a more efficient way to manage a process, you can capture these best practices and apply them more widely throughout the organization. An issue tracking system allows you to rapidly access answers and information and maintain a dashboard for tracking the history of issues and solutions. This makes creating reports, monitoring issues, and sharing information far easier.
You can monitor any action that has been taken on an issue. Once an issue has been submitted, it’s important to stay track of who’s responsible for resolving it. If it needs to be escalated or dealt with by another department, the issue tracking software will show the status of the query and the project ‘ownership.’ A good issue tracking system will allow you to track any actions taken on an issue with a quick glance on a dashboard. Automated reminders and status updates keep everyone in the loop.
You can keep people informed about what has happened with each issue. This is key for customer satisfaction and business efficiency. The more issues there are, the more staff who could interact with the issue – all these factors mean that issues can easily become lost or confused. An issue tracking system streamlines management for even the most complex issues, complaints, or special requests. People who know their requests and submissions have been understood and answered are far more likely to remain loyal customers or efficient, satisfied employees.
Within every organization, individuals and departments are managing day-to-day processes using sticky notes, email inboxes, and spreadsheets. The stress of manual monitoring and management is considerable, and consistently leads to mistakes, inefficiencies, and lack of clarity regarding issues. As organizations grow, micro-hiccups in issue management become major organizational challenges. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Issue tracking software systems are easy and intuitive – and affordable. Any organization can improve its bottom line, staff satisfaction and customer retention using issue tracking software.
If you’d like to learn more about using Issuetrak to tackle your organization’s issues, both simple and complex, reach out to one of our Product Experts!