Best Practices - Expanding Issuetrak

When another group or department wants the same benefits you’re getting from Issuetrak, what’s the best way to make that happen? Should they use your site or get their own? Where do you start?


Where to start?

The key to successful expansion is planning. Here are some questions to ask before starting:

  • Are the users in the new group different from the ones currently using the site?
  • Are the issues highly sensitive or confidential in nature?
  • Do you want to completely separate all system-wide dropdowns?
  • Is the scope and reach of this new department vastly different than your current site?


Separate Sites

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you may want to implement a separate site.  It could be that you’re currently supporting external customers, but the new group only wants to handle internal issues. This means users accessing the site are completely different. As such, it might make sense to maintain different sites.

Remember that administrators see all issues and that some sites contain confidential information related to issues. In these instances, a separate site may be necessary to limit the visibility of issues. For example, Human Resources departments often install their own sites, which enables their administrators to maintain personnel security and confidentiality.

To set up a new site, identify who the administrators, agents, and end-users should be for the site, and then reach out to your sales engineer. They’ll provide you with a quote and can set up consulting time with Issuetrak’s Professional Services team. If the administrators are different from your existing site, an Implementation session can guide them through the system setup.


One Site

If you answered no to the above questions, then there’s no reason why you can’t share a single site. We recommend using a test site to make sure all your needs are handled before going live. Cloud customers can request a site through Support. Support can also assist on-premises customers by creating a backup of existing data into a test site.

Certain features become more important as you start bringing additional groups into the same Issuetrak site:

  • Class: The Dashboard allows you to filter by Class. Using Classes helps keep things separated for those that see all issues. Management maintains open visibility across all corners of the business while being able to quickly drill down to specific areas.

  • Groups: Assigning issues to Groups create silos for agents to work from, allowing them to focus on completing assigned work without sifting through irrelevant issues. Groups must contain at least one agent to be assigned issues. The same agent can be in multiple groups if necessary.

  • Departments: If both the users and issues need to stay separate between areas, you can use the internal flag on Departments to restrict issues assigned to or submitted by the users of a specific department.

  • Projects: Projects group related issues to the same project or initiative. In an exclusive project, only project members are allowed access, which makes exclusive projects useful in controlling issue visibility.


Other Considerations

Additional departments may require different issue types and subtypes. It’s possible that if you’re using only subtype level one, they may need to get more granular. Subtype levels two, three, and four can also be activated if needed.

You have an unlimited number of user-defined fields available to be created. If the other group needs additional information, these fields can easily be added.

If the other department needs to see the issue fields in a different order or their user-defined fields are different than yours, the Issue Forms feature can be used to address these needs. Issue Forms are tied directly to issue type. So by adding new issue types for your new department to use, you can create issue screens with the appropriate order and user-defined fields relevant to their needs.

Dropdown fields are shared across the site. When these fields are activated, the values are seen by everyone with access to the feature. These fields include Substatus, Solutions, Priority, and Causes. Make sure the phrasing of the dropdown values makes sense to everyone. This may mean that you include prefixes to separate by the group. (E.g. IT – In Process, OPS – Under Review, FAC – Waiting for Budget).

Issue types and Issue Templates also have a “restrict to” option. This allows certain values to only be submitted by certain Groups. So if no one outside of the new department needs to submit your new issue types or use any new Issue Templates, you can restrict those to eliminate them from the dropdowns most users see.


Steps to Move Forward

  1. Gather data.  Before making changes to your site, get an idea about what actually needs to change. Here are a few questions that will help guide you:

  • What new types of issues will you be capturing?
  • Who will these new issues come from and who will be working with them?
  • What visibility controls are needed for these new issues and new users?
  • Do you need to grant any new permissions to the users that will be submitting or working on these issues?
  • Will you need to add any new values to your existing fields like priority, substatus, solutions, or causes?
  • What new User Defined Fields will you need to create?
  • Do these new issues need new tasks or processes?
  1. Get a test site. Our Support Team can assist you in creating a test site.

  2. Modify site structure (organizations, departments, projects, potentially locations). Consider your needs carefully before making changes to your site’s structure. This is one area where a test site is invaluable for testing configuration changes.

  3. Manage users/groups. You may need to manage group memberships, adjust permissions, or create new groups.

  4. Add any issue types and subtypes you’ve identified.

  5. Add any user-defined fields that are needed.

  6. Modify issue forms. If you added new user-defined fields or need to change the field order, you’ll need to edit your existing issue forms or have new issue forms associated with new issue types.

  7. Add appropriate values to your existing dropdowns fields like Priority, Substatus, Solution, and Class.

  8. Add new tasks/processes/Issue Templates. Expanding Issuetrak often means adding new processes and workflows. This means setting up new tasks and task groups, then using Issue Templates to kick off those tasks as new issues are submitted.

  9. Test with users. Try out the new functionality in your test site. It’s important to test your new visibility controls along with the rest of the system, which means logging in as users from different departments, organizations, or different exclusive projects to verify your various users have access to the issues they need without seeing the issues they shouldn’t.

  10. Document changes/create training materials/train users. New users may need some training, which requires training materials. The easiest way to create these materials is to start by documenting the changes you’ve made to your Issuetrak site.

  11. Roll out your site changes in your production environment.

This is meant to be a general guideline about setting up additional departments within Issuetrak. Please contact your sales engineer or reach out to us if you have any questions. Additional consulting and training are available through Issuetrak Professional Services.