Issue management in teams

The value of a company is the stored internal value of its information system in the broadest sense. To enhance this value, there should be a forum for employees to exchange with colleagues on technical issues.

I remember a customer who wanted an internal issue list to include both his and my comments real-time, shared between two companies. The tools available were Excel by mail or SharePoint, but neither responded to the requirement.

Use a wiki in-house

A wiki would have been appropriate as they track changes beautifully while maintaining a coherent top-level document. Issues management can use a wiki by stating the problem and then progressively updating with solutions.

Another solution could be a forum

Use the excellent comment and re-comment function of the discussion as each person contributes. The problem here though is how to get a quick view of status without having to read the whole thread.

There must be then, successful team issue management systems which allow both for chronological commenting and for a kind of management summary quick view and traffic lights which show overall status. I’d like to see them in action and compare with the difficulties experienced at the time and see what solutions are available.

The challenge is to capture the detailed data, technical or otherwise, and yet maintain a management level. In my one-person outfit, I don’t have those challenges of sharing and comprehension. However, the issues are many, the subjects broad and the sources of information highly varied.

The components of managing issues

You cannot manage or solve a problem without stating the central question.  Sometimes it is not possible to express directly the problem, just its observed characteristics.

Structure of a business issue

  • state the problem, which I call the observation,
  • I have a cause,
  • a solution,
  • and a conclusion often used for the reason for the closure and finally
  • link to a source, typically a link to a forum article.

There are additional fields such as status, domain, category, project, priority and urgency used for categorisation and filtering which work well for me. I wonder how it would hold up in a team environment.

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