Can you relate to the sinking feeling that creeps up when you miss a deadline? Maybe an important issue fell through the cracks. Maybe you have too many tasks to keep track of. When you don’t have an issue management system in place, you are bound to make mistakes on the job.We get it! Before we built DoneDone as a solution to this problem, we struggled to find a consistent way to keep track of tasks and issues that needed fixing.Read on and find out the main factors that contribute to haphazard task management. We’ll show you how to remedy each one of them by setting up an issue management system.
Derek Sivers, the founder of CDBaby, believes that ideas are worth nothing unless executed well. In fact, to him, ideas are just a multiplier of execution. Here are three reasons why an issue management process will help your team execute well.
One thing that we can all agree on is that stuff has to get done in order for a company to be successful. A few years ago, someone told me the origins of the saying, “Fast is the new big.” The days of tycoon business models like that of Carnegie, Ford, and IBM – who could stay ahead by sheer power – were threatened by new companies who were simply faster at execution. Consider Google’s rapid development of new products or Amazon’s speed of acquiring valuable assets.Speed is also one of the few areas that a smaller business can have an advantage over its larger competitors.
Issue management systems provide a single location to track all the issues and tasks that your company needs to resolve. They’re helpful for staying organized, but they’re also great for adding a layer of accountability.Let’s be honest. Sometimes tasks fall through the cracks. You may get distracted by a big shiny project and miss a deadline on a smaller project. You may go on a vacation for a few days and return in a state of confusion, forgetting commitments you had made beforehand. Sometimes when teams work together, two people end up doing double work on the same issue while assuming a neglected issue is being looked after by another party.It will give you and your team one central location to access all issues, tasks, and projects. No issue is overlooked. Everyone knows who is taking care of what. And, most importantly, if people forget, it’s the software that will hold them accountable.
A few months ago, the screen on my 55” smart TV started bugging out. It was still under warranty, so I called the service center for a repair or replacement. “Yes sir, it will be done this week.”One week passed. Nobody came. I called again but had the same problem. I asked to escalate the issue to management. They also delayed. I tweeted about the problem. They tweeted back and said it would be done. It wasn’t done.Finally, I networked my way into finding the personal email address of the national CEO. I outlined my grievances, told him that his company didn’t have a proper issue management system in place, and pleaded with him to resolve the issue for the sake of his own reputation.Fourteen hours later, there were 2 company service technicians installing a brand new 55” Smart TV on my wall.When a customer contacts you with an issue that they’re facing, it’s your responsibility as a trustworthy business to respond to them and try to fix the issue in a timely manner.Imagine how much time the customer wasted trying to get this fixed. Better yet, imagine how much extra money it cost the TV company to address this issue in such an inefficient way. They lost time and material costs, but they also lost a repeat customer.
An issue management system is a central hub where all employees can see the activities that they need to get done. In its raw form, it provides a remedy to the three problems mentioned in the previous section:
Depending on your workflow and the types of issues you want to track, maintaining a list of new issues may be a manual process, an automated process, or a hybrid process.
Most companies will start out with manual issue tracking and continue tracking issues and tasks this way forever. That’s perfectly fine! Here are some examples of the types of issues that an employee would manually add to the issue management system:
In all of these instances, a task or issue was created from an idea and manually added to the issue tracking system by the employee or manager who came up with the idea.
A company that is using an issue management system exclusively for customer requests may be able to fully automate the issue tracking process. A popular automated workflow looks like this:
Now that these issues are automatically logged, employees can focus their entire time on resolving the issues.
A hybrid issue tracking method lets you automate incoming customer support requests while allowing some employees and managers to manually enter other tasks that need to be completed.This is an excellent solution for the vast majority of companies.
There are a number of issue management apps that you can choose from. Some are bare-bones and simple to use, like DoneDone. Others like Jira and Manuscript are more complex and have dozens of extra features.For a company like ours, simple and “less” almost always beats complex and “more”. Even if a company eventually needs a more complex system, we’ve found it’s much easier to start simple and find what’s lacking than to start with an overly complex system and try to take things away.
These are the most important make-or-break features that should be a part of whatever issue management software you choose:A crystal-clear workflow – It should be clear who’s responsible for what.Priority and accountability – You should be able to set deadlines for completion.User permission levels – You should be able to set permissions for managers, employees, and teams.Flexible views – You should be able to switch dashboard views to see all of your projects, your team’s projects, or the entire list of issues.Real-time updates – Your entire team should be able to see the status of their issues in real-time.And here are a few more nice-to-haves.Automated email-to-issue features – Allows issue to be created from public form submissions.Mobile friendly – Everyone should be able to access the application from a computer or from their phones.Simple reporting – See how you or your entire team are doing with issue management.There is a plethora of other features available across various applications, but the ones listed above are the basic requirements for any issue management system.
We created DoneDone many years ago to help us with our own internal issue management. At that time, we also didn’t have an adequate solution to keep track of bugs, issues, and requests from customers. Now, DoneDone is used in over 100 countries around the world by companies of all sizes.We decided from the beginning that we would keep DoneDone simple, and that has paid off. In the DoneDone workflow, you follow these easy steps:
Once the issue is submitted to the issue management system, you and your team can monitor and update the progress.
Software can only help a team so much. Ultimately, if even one person hasn’t bought into it, software becomes less effective and is just more added noise. If you’ve just started introducing a tool like DoneDone to your team, here are two rules we recommend starting with.On your first DoneDone project…
Ready to set up an issue management system for your own company? DoneDone is the simplest way to get started.It’s free to sign up, so make an account and get started tracking issues today.Click here to get DoneDone