Navigating the Issue Lifecycle in Issuetrak

The lifecycle of an issue varies depending on the usage, but there are also some similarities and best practices to follow. This guide aims to provide a structured understanding of the sequential steps involved in handling an issue within Issuetrak, ensuring a smooth and effective issue resolution process from submission to closure.


1. Issue Submission

The issue lifecycle in Issuetrak begins with issue submission. Issues can be submitted from a variety of sources:

  • Web Interface (Portal): After logging into the Issuetrak site on a computer or mobile device, users can submit issues via a submission form.
    • Include essential details such as issue type, description, priority, and relevant attachments. The Issue Forms used for web submission can be configured to make specific field mandatory or optional when submitting. Multiple Issue Forms, each tailored to different Issue Types, provide versatility and adaptability.
    • If an agent has the appropriate permissions, they can submit issues on behalf of other users for situations where an end user calls a service desk.
  • Incoming Email: Users can send an email to designated Issuetrak email address(es).
    • This submission method prioritizes simplicity and doesn't impose requirements for specific information. However, it's important to note that this approach could potentially lead to delays in issue resolution, as additional information may need to be requested from users.
  • Phone Call or In-Person: Submission on behalf of other users.
    • Agents with the permission "Can submit on behalf of other users" can choose a user from the Submitter field and then submit an issue on behalf of that selected user.
  • Webform (Add-On Module): Submission page that eliminates the need for user login.
    • The webform channels submitted issues into the Issuetrak site through either the API or Incoming Email, streamlining the collection of required information.
    • Typically utilizes a singular, user-friendly form.
  • Chat (Add-On Module): Automated submission through a chat window.

Issue notifications can be configured to automatically send submitters, assignees, or any other users requiring notification an email upon the submission of issues.


2. Assessment and Responsibility (Triage)

Upon submission, the issue enters the triage phase. During this phase, the issue is reviewed to confirm that all essential information for initiating the resolution process has been provided. The issue is then assigned to a responsible agent who will oversee its lifecycle:

  • Issue Assessment: Analyze the issue, gather additional information if required, and determine the best course of action.
  • Initial Response: Typically, an initial response includes adding a note to the issue, triggering an automatic email to the submitter. This step ensures prompt acknowledgment of receipt, accompanied by sharing an estimated timeline for resolution or any immediate actions taken. Occasionally, it may also involve requesting additional information from the submitter.
  • Assignment: Designates an Agent User or Group responsible for the issue. The assigned agent or group manages the issue until its closure. Assignments can be subject to change during the lifecycle of an issue to facilitate a transfer of responsibility.
    • Manual Assignment to Users or Groups: A designated individual or group reviews the submitted issues and manually assigns them to appropriate agents or agent groups for further action.
    • Automatic Assignment (Optional): Utilize Issuetrak's automations to assign issues automatically to specific teams or individuals based on predefined criteria.
    • Task Assignments (Optional): Collaborate across departments by assigning tasks within issues to any of the following: Groups, Agents, End Users.


3. Issue Updates and Work Performed

Once an issue is assigned, the focus shifts to resolving it through a series of steps. This phase involves ongoing work, effective communication, and regular updates, all of which are critical for successful issue resolution. Team members can contribute by adding notes, completing tasks, updating form information, attaching files, and changing substatuses:

  • Issue Updates: Transparent communication through notes and file attachments ensures the documentation of progress as well as collaboration among team members.
  • Work Execution: Team members diligently work on resolving the issue, adhering to established protocols and completing necessary tasks.
  • Substatus updates: Managing substatuses is crucial for tracking the issue's lifecycle and identifying the current responsible user or group. Substatuses play a pivotal role in driving automations and can be updated manually or automatically with Workflow Rules, Tasks, and / or events.


4. Solution and Closure

As the issue nears resolution, final steps are taken:

  • Issue Resolution: Apply the necessary fixes or actions to effectively resolve the reported issue.
  • Closing Notes: Optionally, include closing notes summarizing the actions taken, applied resolutions, or pertinent details.
  • Solution and Causes: Configurable fields for solutions and causes can optionally appear on the close issue screen, providing valuable reference for future issues.
  • Status Update: Clicking the Close button and then the Close Issue button automatically updates the status to Closed, signifying the resolution of the issue.

Issues can always be reopened after closure. Closed issues no longer populate the Issue Hub, but remain accessible through issue searches or custom reports.


5. Post-Closure Review (Optional)

For continuous improvement, consider a post-closure review:

  • Feedback Collection: Gather feedback from users or stakeholders regarding the resolution process and outcomes. The Surveys Module in Issuetrak is a good way to do this.
  • Analysis for Improvement: Use collected feedback for analysis, identifying areas for improvement in handling similar issues in the future.


6. Archiving and Retention

Closed issues remain accessible in Issuetrak for reference and historical purposes by using the Search Issues or Report Writer features.


Closing Thoughts

Navigating through these steps in Issuetrak ensures a systematic approach to issue handling, fostering collaboration, transparency, and efficiency within the team. By following this comprehensive workflow, organizations can streamline issue resolution processes, enhance customer satisfaction, and continually improve service delivery.