David Lee's company needed a system to track customer support and development issues—one that had the right combination of tools and the scalability they needed to effectively address their customer needs, as well as their own internal requirements. Here is a discussion of why they chose Team Track, and an evaluation of the tool.
The company i work for, managed Objects, Inc., is growing by leaps and bounds. To mature along with the company, the engineering operations group needed a new system to track customer support and development issues—one that had the right combination of tools and the scalability we needed to effectively address our customer needs, as well as our own internal requirements. After evaluating several products on the market, we chose TeamTrack ( www.teamshare.com), a Web-architected defect and issue tracking system with integrated customer support capabilities. Now our whole organization is using TeamTrack version 5.5 for operational purposes ranging from human resource management to software development.
I would like to discuss why we chose TeamTrack. The opinions expressed here are mine alone. They are neither an endorsement nor critique of the products by Managed Objects or TeamShare.
Features/Benefits of TeamTrack
TeamTrack, along with most issue tracking systems, is essentially a database of issues—individual product defects or desired enhancements reported by customers, testers, and other stakeholders. At any given time, an issue is in a particular state, and it may be assigned to a particular person. Issues can be linked to supporting documents of all types and can contain comments by different people. As issues are addressed, they transition from one state to another. We chose TeamTrack, though, because of its unique combination of features that allow us to build, expand, and share information throughout our organization. These features are
- integrated support and development
- graphical workflow editor
- automated transition and notification
- searchable public knowledge base
- personalized user interface
- its own scripting language
- collaboration with third-party products
Integrated Support and Development
Just like most good defect tracking tools, TeamTrack provides the ability to track issues submitted by customers via the Web or email. But TeamTrack goes a step further by integrating customer support and development business functions. This integration allows our support and development teams, as well as customers, to work cooperatively in solving incidents and addressing new product enhancements.
Moreover, since our initial rollout, we have extended TeamTrack to the whole customer relationship spectrum. Besides arming customer support engineers with complete customer information, we provide sales representatives with information about their customers' technical support incidents. Sales personnel can quickly log in to TeamTrack via the Internet and see a customer's current issues, enhancement requests, configurations, customer patch upgrades, etc.
Graphical Workflow Editor
Issues can change for many reasons. An issue might change state, be escalated because of service levels, or have a comment added to it. The flow of an issue from one state to another is controlled by process workflow. Once you have a process that you want TeamTrack to monitor, you can create a workflow with custom data fields, states, and transitions using the Graphical Workflow Editor (see Figure 1). The workflow editor is what really separates TeamTrack from its competitors. Figure 1 presents a visual process, including all of the states and transitions.
Once established, workflows are assigned to projects. Several projects may use the same workflow, or workflows may be modified for individual projects. For example, customer service can have a different workflow than development.
Automated Transition and Notification
When an issue changes, the Notification Server can be triggered to perform some action. For example, adding a comment might automatically notify the customer via customized email templates and log the email for historical purposes. This feature also allows projects or workflows that share issues to stay in synch with each other. For example, when an engineer transitions an assigned issue to the “resolved” state, a trigger would cause any linked customer incidents to transition to the "development complete"