The Advantages of Hierarchical Issue Tracking

Choosing an issue tracking system is a crucial decision for any organization. The wrong choice may not be obvious at first, but it can lead to additional expenses, problems, and conflicts. In the long run the wrong decision may cost you more than your budget will allow.

In order to manage complex tasks, you should divide them into simpler ones, and subsequently, break these simpler tasks into still smaller parts. In most issue tracking systems you cannot do this: projects often cannot have subprojects,versions cannot have build numbers, and tasks cannot have subtasks.

Just imagine that the file system of your computer does not allow you to create a directory hierarchy. You would then have to create a long list of directories with names such as office-word, office-excel,office-powerpoint. The list would soon become cumbersome and confusing. Would you like to use a file system that does not allow you to search files located in several directories at once?

With flat issue tracking systems, you must organize issues using special predefined issue folders (like project groups, projects, versions, modules or components) which are stored in different tables and created using different user interfaces. Would you like to use a file system of your computer that makes you save all your executables to special bin-rectory with the name bin, and all your documentation to doc-rectory with the name doc instead of creating ordinary subdirectories like bin and doc?

Within even the smallest project, it is often necessary to track various types of issues, such as bugs, documentation changes, and support requests. These issue types may use different sets of states and transition rules. For example, a software tester is supposed to verify bugs, while a proofreader should control the documentation quality. The system should ensure that the software tester is not assigned the task of proofreading a text by mistake.

Nevertheless, the majority of systems available do not allow users to specify a separate workflow for each issue type or for each project. Instead, the workflow is defined only once for all issue types and projects. The common solution is to install several instances of a system, where each of them has workflow configured to track a specific issue type or project.

Often such systems have no facilities to copy users, user groups, filters, and reports between instances, making it difficult to synchronize between multiple instances. The administrators in such companies have to spend their time(lots of time!) on installing, configuring, backing up,and upgrading each the instance of the system. The only one who wins in such a situation is the vendor of the issue tracking software. When per-server licenses are used, more instances means more money for the vendor, more money out of you pocket and your administrators are spending more time configuring the software instead of managing their projects.

The vendor of one well-known issue tracking system quotes their customer who writes that it takes 60 instances of the issue tracking system to manage 200 users and 20 projects. In that situation, even such a simple operation as getting the list of all unresolved bugs requires the administrator to perform the search 60 times-even then,you will have to sum up the obtained results manually!

As a result, the overwhelming majority of flat systems only allow you to effectively manage 10-15 projects and the users must purchase licenses for additional system instances, which costs you more money and creates more work for your administrators thus making the situation still worse and costing you still more money!

A hierarchical issue tracking system allows you to effectively solve all the above-mentioned problems. TrackStudio allow you to configure the system behavior in the most effective way, taking into account the peculiarities of each specific project, customer, or issue type. TrackStudio will save your money and put you ahead of your competitors. Download a free fully functional trial of TrackStudio Enterprise today.