Why You Should Automate Your Issue Tracking Process
January 15, 2020
Design and manufacturing projects are often complex and involve many distributed stakeholders, which can make tracking a team's progress difficult and time-consuming. Teams that use email, spreadsheets and paper to keep track of progress and issues often waste valuable time simply searching for the information they need. Disconnected open issues lists, email threads, and meeting minutes mean team members are often unaware of open tasks and priorities, and managers struggle to understand project status.
To unlock valuable insights lost across emails, spreadsheets, and notebooks, many teams turn to cloud-based environments that consolidate this information and streamline the development process. A few examples are Jira, Asana and CoLab.
So how does an issue-tracking software help?
One shared central location: all your CAD files, bills of materials, and supporting information is in one place, so you no longer have to search through repositories to find the information you need.
Accessibility: a simple, intuitive interface where an entire project team and external collaborators can discuss issues, makes it easy to get responses, and resolve issues quickly.
Prioritization: with a long list of open issues, it can be challenging to understand where to begin. By leveraging an issue tracking software, each open issue gets assigned a priority and due date, so you can easily filter by importance and urgency.
Accountability: upon creating an issue, the creator assigns the task to the responsible team member. This ensures that each issue has an assignee, and everyone knows what tasks they're responsible for.
Permissions: if you're working with clients or external organizations, you can change the permission settings easily for their viewing, so you don't have to duplicate files and make adjustments to share with other stakeholders.
Workflow and notifications: everyone can see where they are in the project, so they are always up-to-date on status, and relevant people get notified when the process involves them.
Records: by implementing an issue tracking tool in your design process, users can review a comprehensive history of changes that occurred throughout the project, so it's simple to understand when and why decisions were made.
Reports: a capable issue-tracking application also generates issue reports so you can spend time working on the issue rather than writing about it.
Issue-tracking software is an effective way to streamline issue management on design and manufacturing projects. If you find you're spending too much time managing the work rather than working, automating your progress monitoring and issue tracking processes may be a good idea.
What kind of systems or software applications do you use to track your issues? Do you find it effective, and if not, why? We'd love to know.