How Issue Management Helps Shorten Project Times: 3 Examples
Issue Management: Bug Tracking and More
Tracking bugs is part of every product developer’s overall process. It helps ensure the quality of the final product, and maintain released products. For some, defect tracking is accomplished manually with a program like Microsoft Excel. At a small scale, this is fairly simple and straightforward.
With growth, however, manually tracking bugs becomes inefficient quickly. And it doesn’t seamlessly integrate feature and change requests. Ultimately, a bug tracking tool should track all of these things, as well as prioritize issues and facilitate some sort of risk analysis — all of which are part of issue management.
Let’s look at three companies that upgraded their manual processes to find immediate improvements.
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Issue Tracker Shortens Setup Time from Weeks to Days
ISB AG is an IT service provider headquartered in Karlsruhe, Germany. Its software solutions and consultation serve the industry and public administration sectors.
For years, ISB teams used numerous different bug tracking applications to develop and implement complex database-driven information systems. Being a vendor-independent partner, they would identify a bug tracking solution to use for every new project. This created massive setup times for new projects.
For small projects, it meant that setup took nearly half of the development time. This not only delayed delivery, but also added overhead that was not value-added for the customer.
To solve this, they chose one of easiest-to-use tools that was already in their mix of bug tracking solutions. It supports a 2-person team managing over 100 projects for 150 internal users and 400 customers.
The result: defect liabilities were reduced from 5% to below 3%, and project setup time dropped from two weeks to two days. That’s almost a 50% improvement in quality, and an 85% decrease in time!
“[These efforts] reduced defect liabilities from five percent to below three percent of our business volume. Setup time for new software development projects was reduced from more than two weeks to less than two days. And training for defect tracking tools within the projects was reduced from about two person-days to almost zero.” —Oliver Reiniger, Quality Manager, ISB
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Nonprofit Saves Valuable Time and Resources with Issue Management Tool
CureSearch Children’s Oncology Group (COG) is the world’s largest organization devoted exclusively to childhood and adolescent cancer research. Cancer specialists and researchers around the world develop and coordinate clinical trials for cancer treatments at more than 235 member institutions.
COG typically has 100 ongoing trials enrolling about 5,000 new patients each year. Tracking the progress of these patients — along with 35,000 childhood cancer survivors in active follow-up — requires collecting massive amounts of information from across the globe.
This data collection was facilitated by COG’s Remote Data Entry system (RDEs). It housed a custom-written program for each study. That means that for every new study to be captured by the RDEs, it required an expansion of databases, web interfaces, and validation scripts.
Bringing a new study from development to release under this system took more than 18 weeks.
COG’s technical team was able to develop a new system that would reduce study implementation to fewer than two weeks. This was a complex project that demanded other process changes, like implementing a formal tracking system.
The team tried using emails and spreadsheets to track bugs, but it was time-consuming and unscalable. After testing alternative solutions, they eventually found a complete issue management system that met their needs — and they were able to implement it in days.
Even more fortuitous, COG found that the solution — Helix IM — went beyond bug tracking.
“Not only do we rely on Helix IM for bug tracking, but we also use it to log customer support issues. This is achieved by configuring Helix IM to automatically create new issues when emails are sent to our support address. The flexibility built into Helix saves us both time and money because it eliminates the need to purchase and implement a separate help desk tool. These savings are especially important to a nonprofit organization.” — Ken Ingram, COG CIO
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Bidirectional, On-Prem Bug Tracking Keeps Game Releases on Schedule
Sports Interactive (SI) is a large and growing game studio based in London. It developed Football Manager — the internationally popular football management simulation.
When the studio was first established, it was industry practice to use Microsoft Excel for bug tracking. As the studio expanded, sharing this manual logging between teams became what SI Development Director Marc Duffy described as “a nightmare.”
SI found a solution that provided bidirectional tracking — creating a two-way exchange with the person experiencing the bug. Bug tracking became clear, proficient, and up-to-date. The teams were so happy with this solution that it added requirements and test case management, along with version control, as these solutions became available from that same provider — Perforce.
Now these solutions are ingrained in their processes —SI depends on Perforce to secure code and release on time.
“It's absolutely essential to how we go about planning for our games each year. Even though there's lots of competition out there, we love the fact that it's got a Windows client rather than those which use the web-based version.” — Marc Duffy
SI employees are self-proclaimed “fanboys” of Perforce. Find out why >>
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Bring Products to Market Faster
Issues management tools let you easily create, prioritize, and manage every issue. It’s one of many ways you can replace manual processes for better efficiency, and faster development.
Want to learn more about speeding time to market? Download 5 ways to achieve faster development.
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