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Top 10 Bug Tracking Software Secrets Your Team Should Know

If you’re only using bug tracking software to report problems, then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity! Bug tracking software management systems are more versatile than we might give them credit for. In this article, we discuss a few ways you can implement bug tracking software to increase productivity, save money, get to inbox zero, and more.

Top 10 Bug Tracking Software Secrets Your Team Should Know

1. Not All Bug Tracking Software Is Created Equally

Yes! That is correct. Not all bug tracking software is created equally. I’m not just referring to the functionality and features of any given piece of software. I’m talking about getting everyone on your team and clients on the software as smoothly as possible. This can be a major challenge for other bug tracking software especially when trying to coordinate across borders and languages.

When you’re deciding on which issue tracking software to implement you usually have to consider what your website is built upon. What’s the framework, is it WordPress? Is it something else? Do you want to use a plugin or maybe just a chrome extension. If you use an extension your entire team has to be on the same internet browser. Are there any incompatibilities between operating systems? You might be on a Mac and your developers might be running Linux and some Windows? How do you ensure you can all communicate through a single piece of software?

We built The Bug Squasher in part to eliminate this one concern. The Bug Squasher is a universal issue tracking software that doesn’t require its users to install anything. Yes, that’s right, your users don’t have to install anything. This makes it really easy for clients to get involved as well, without having to be the least bit technical. You can just enable it for them and whenever they visit the development site, The Bug Squasher will be made available for them to use. The best part, it is completely universal and will work on absolutely any website.

2. It Isn’t Just For Reporting Bugs. It’s A Team Communication Tool

Bug tracking tools go beyond collecting a list of issues that need fixing. It’s one thing to find the bugs and put them somewhere, but if there isn’t a clear way to take action and to track the progress then it’s useless.

Bug tracking tools are content management systems that allow you to tag, note, and assign tasks to the necessary team members. It creates a unique network through which everyone can collaborate and share information on certain bugs or fixes. It’s not just a to do list, it’s a to do list on steroids.

Moreover, bug tracking tools allow you to speak the developer’s language. You’re less likely to miscommunicate an issue when the tool automatically grabs the offending URL, your browser and operating system info. It makes it easy for you to take and upload screenshots and provide annotations for clarifications. It speaks visually, textually, and automatically gives the technical specifications that you may not think to include (or know how to look up). This eliminates a lot of back and forth allowing your dev team to get to work.

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3. You Can Get Your Clients In On The Fun! Easily Receive And Organize Client Feedback

This remains a secret in essence because of the terms we use to define these tools: bug tracker, issue tracker, defect tracker. Really, it is a stellar communication tool that can be used for more than just tracking bugs on a site. We use it for design notes, and client feedback. Because it’s so easy to use, non-technical clients love The Bug Squasher for sharing pointed thoughts on active web design projects.

This use alone is a game changer for me as a project manager. Once I open up a site for client feedback I just flip a switch and give them access to the bug tracking tool. They submit everything straight from the site into an easy to navigate content management system where I can simply assign and prioritize the tickets for my developers, designers, and copywriters.

When you use a “bug tracker” as a means for client communication, a lot more can get done in a shorter amount of time. You eliminate yourself as a bottleneck and other people on your team can start prioritizing and managing the requests coming in.

4. Fosters An Overall Increase In Client Satisfaction

Bug tracking software allows you to easily collect issues in a manner that they actually get reported to the right people in a timely manner. This allows you to address issues much faster than through traditional avenues of communication providing a faster turnaround on projects and feedback.

Additionally, including your clients will give them an easy avenue by which they can communicate their needs to you and the team. This helps you give better customer service just by providing this clear line of communication. Your clients can be heard as well as receive regular updates on bug fixes making it easy to keep them informed.

In essence you can include them and give them valuable progress reports with less effort and higher regularity.

5. Bug Tracking Increases Efficiency, Accountability And Thus ROI

You might be asking, “Wait, don’t issue trackers cost me money? So won’t I be increasing overhead and thus losing profit?” Although it’s true that some bug trackers cost way more than others – you can view our low priced options here – the right bug tracking software will add more money to your bottom line. Allow me to explain.

Using hyper organized and easy to use bug tracking software affords you the ability to communicate more, communicate more often, all while saying less. Giving pointed directives through bug submissions and assigning priority levels to each creates a simple to follow to-do list for your team to quickly and easily knock out tasks without having to consult you.

The simplicity of bug tracking software like The Bug Squasher allows you to incorporate more of your team and even your clients in the testing phases to report and address more issues than the dev team alone could find. In this way, you’re embracing the power of the many to quickly identify potential issues with a project. All of this data coming in would be overwhelming and useless if not for the clear and easy to navigate content management system.

Because you can communicate more information between more individuals clearly and in a shorter amount of time your team can deliver a higher quality product in a much shorter amount of time. So what does this mean in terms of dollars? Less time spent frittering away on a project, less time stuck in development hell get confusing notes and feedback and waiting on one person to organize and assign tasks means more money in your pocket. The project is faster to produce meaning it’s cheaper at the hourly level. Additionally, doing more in a shorter amount of time enables you to bring in more projects than usual, providing an opportunity to increase your overall revenue.

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6. Bug Tracking Software Can Free You Of Unnecessary Email Threads

You don’t have to suffer through long email threads from clients, developers, team managers, and designers when you use the right tool. Unfortunately, email has become so ubiquitous that it has become the default communication platform with messengers like skype coming in as a close second. Here’s the thing, you don’t have to put up with that.

When you use The Bug Squasher all lines of communication to your development team are routed there. If there’s an issue with a web project, you submit a clear and actionable task to the content management system and they take it from there.

This takes care of the dev team emails, but what about the rest? When your entire team is on the bug squasher, all communications are turned into precise actionable tasks with screenshots and annotations. There is very little room for confusion.

Moving a step further, by including your clients on The Bug Squasher you create a reliable line of communication through which they can quickly send you a design note or website correction knowing it’s not going to get buried at the bottom of an inbox or pushed out of a busy chat window.

I’m not anti-email, I just recognize that a lot more could be accomplished if it were directed through the proper channels to the right people in an actionable form from the start. You might just be amazed at how many emails you could spare your inbox when you direct the bulk of your communications through a more precise communication tool for feedback.

7. Allows You To Easily See Trending Issues

You might not think of your bug tracking software in these terms, but to the keen eye it provides a play-by-play of every issue your team has ever encountered. Why this is important is that it allows you to find the commonalities between these mistakes that are being made. What is the most common issue that comes up for your team?

Once you know all of the repeat mistakes/glitches/bugs your team encounters you can develop protocols to resolve those issues as soon as they arise or develop solutions to avoid the issues altogether.

Bug reporting gives you a master view of everything that’s going wrong in your projects in a way that other forms of communication just can’t.

8. It Allows You To Assess Internal Protocols And Effectiveness

Running an honest postmortem is essential to improving your performance in any aspect of life and business. What’s working, what’s not, where can you improve, and what are the improvements you can make?

Tracking issues through bug tracking software makes this historical lookback clearer. Through effective scrutinization you can not only see the common issues that seem to keep popping up, but also how effective your solutions are and the effectiveness of your implementation of those solutions.

Having a central location that amasses every issue that has come up during a project and tracks the solution as well as the person who implemented the fix is the first step in assessing the effectiveness of your protocols. It can be eye opening and shed light on areas that may have gone unnoticed, but when the playing field is leveled and everyone is in the loop, the weaknesses become more apparent.

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9. Bug Tracking Software Frees You Of Unnecessary Work

Work less and get more done! That is the promise of a lot of tools, books, and internet gurus. When I talk about work I’m including the time it takes for you to clarify what a task entails and whether or not that task actually needs to be done. I’ll explain a bit more.

Incorporating bug tracking software into your normal workflow will provide your team an essential master control room for all of the things that need to be fixed and accomplished for any given project. When the tasks are this clear and everyone on your team is “in the know” there is almost zero possibility of miscommunication and time wasted, or spent seeking clarification.

With a straightforward bug management system your whole team can see what still needs to be done, what was already done, and what is currently being done. This removes the possibility of duplicate work. Working on something that someone else already accomplished is disheartening and a waste of time. Yes, it happens. Also, excessive interteam communication doesn’t hamper productivity. The amount of time team members spend asking “who’s in charge of what?” can be staggering and is unnecessary.

Bug tracking software is an instant solution that solves this problem and puts the entire team on the same page.

10. Bug Tracking Software Saves You Money

We’ve touched on this in another article, but it’s worth mentioning again. Bug tracking software is less of an overhead cost, and more of a money saver. It comes down to early detection. Implementing a bug tracking tool makes it frictionless for anyone on your team to report issues. The ease of submitting bugs helps your team to report more bugs without worrying about getting the right info to the right people or through the right channels; just click and submit.

By implementing a simple to use tool you even encourage non-techies in your midst to poke around and do some good old fashioned quality assurance and contribute to the mix.

Finding more issues before pushing a site live is always cheaper than fixing those bugs after the fact. Why? The time cost of pulling people back onto a “finished” project translates into a higher out of pocket expense for you. Additionally, if you don’t have a core inhouse development team or designers, then you might be forced to find others to make the necessary fixes.

If you’re fronting the bill for the fixes, then you are by definition earning less on the project. If your company is paying for it, then you are overspending. If your client is paying for the fixes then you are surprising them with hidden expenses and could very well be risking your business relationship and trust with that client. All of this is avoidable.

Final Thoughts

There is so much wasted communication these days. With more and more apps hitting the market that make it easy to steal your attention and to broadcast your thoughts to others, we’re being bombarded with so many voices and a lot of those messages are getting lost in the shuffle.

Good communication tools are very important for managing a team effectively. Pick the right one for the job. Thinking a little outside of the box will free you from bloated inboxes, actually add value to your business, and increase client satisfaction while allowing you and your team to use time more productively.

– The Bug Squasher Team

P.S. Anything you’d like to change or improve needs to be tracked and managed – Money, Health, and Bugs.

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