Issue tracking system


Snippet from Wikipedia: Issue tracking system

An issue tracking system (also ITS, trouble ticket system, support ticket, request management or incident ticket system) is a computer software package that manages and maintains lists of issues. Issue tracking systems are generally used in collaborative settings—especially in large or distributed collaborations—but can also be employed by individuals as part of a time management or personal productivity regimen. These systems often encompass resource allocation, time accounting, priority management, and oversight workflow in addition to implementing a centralized issue registry.

In the institutional setting, issue tracking systems are commonly used in an organization's customer support call center to create, update, and resolve reported customer issues, or even issues reported by that organization's other employees. A support ticket should include vital information for the account involved and the issue encountered. An issue tracking system often also contains a knowledge base containing information on each customer, resolutions to common problems, and other such data.

An issue tracking system is similar to a "bugtracker", and often, a software company will sell both, and some bugtrackers are capable of being used as an issue tracking system, and vice versa. Consistent use of an issue or bug tracking system is considered one of the "hallmarks of a good software team". A ticket element, within an issue tracking system, is a running report on a particular problem, its status, and other relevant data. They are commonly created in a help desk or call center environment and almost always have a unique reference number, also known as a case, issue or call log number which is used to allow the user or help staff to quickly locate, add to or communicate the status of the user's issue or request.

These tickets are called so because of their origin as small cards within a traditional wall mounted work planning system when this kind of support started. Operators or staff receiving a call or query from a user would fill out a small card with the user's details and a brief summary of the request and place it into a position (usually the last) in a column of pending slots for an appropriate engineer, so determining the staff member who would deal with the query and the priority of the request.

The shared conceptual foundation between issue tracking systems and bugtrackers is that a valid issue must be amenable to a decisive resolution (such as "completed", "fixed", or a group consensus that the issue is not worth solving, such as "not a problem" or "won't fix"); that each issue is unique (duplicate problem reports are in most cases promptly amalgamated into a single active issue or ticket); and—beyond the screening stage—that there is precisely one person assigned formal responsibility to move the issue forward (this formal baton will often bounce around many times as the issue evolves). In bug trackers, issues are generally quality or feature related with respect to a codebase (which is inherently a project management setting) whereas in generalized issue tracking systems, the tickets are often service-related or relationship-based, with closer ties to customer relationship management (CRM) concerns.