Why You Shouldn't Use Project Management Software for Issue Tracking

Oct 24, 2018 9:45:00 AM / by Sarah Spangler

"Do I really need a dedicated issue tracking platform?"

It's a question that comes up a lot when businesses are in the market for a new issue tracking tool. No one wants to spend money they could just as well save, especially if they have a capable alternative already available.

Although we're no fans of unitaskers ourselves, that doesn't mean that any multi-purpose software can make the grade. Too often, businesses buy into the idea that their project management software can handle all of their issue tracking needs, and that's just not the case.

Where project management platforms fall flat

The typical line of thinking that tempts businesses to use their project management tools for issue tracking is that the two are interchangeable, so why invest in separate platforms? Moreover, many organizations already have software like Asana, Trello or Basecamp in place, so it's better to wring more functionality out of those existing platforms than buy a new software license.

At face value, it appears to be pretty sound logic, but it overlooks a critical point: None of those tools were designed with issue tracking in mind. Trello's fantastic if you want to follow the progress of a project from beginning to end, but try to use it for a task like complaint management and you'll be asking for trouble. The lack of any kind of escalation system, for instance, increases the risk of user feedback or customer complaints going unnoticed and unaddressed. It just wasn't built to handle those kinds of workflows.

Asana users have trumpeted the platform's combination of baseline performance and expandable functionality with its array of available integrations and add-ons, but that's no sure-fire solution, either. Even with a pricey, third-party integration, you're unlikely to get the same high-quality issue tracking capabilities as a dedicated platform.

There's also the question of how responsive of a support system users will receive if they need help with issue tracking problems. Will project management software support teams have the knowledge to walk individuals through issue tracking obstacles and answer whatever questions they have? Asana, for one, has a tiered support system, where users who pay for more expensive subscriptions receive higher priority.

You need the right tool for the job, and project management comes up short with issue tracking tasks.You need the right tool for the job, and project management comes up short with issue tracking tasks.

Dedicated issue tracking solutions are second to none

"Leave issue tracking to the issue tracking solutions."

There's nothing wrong with project management platforms when used for the express purpose they were designed around. Leave issue tracking to the issue tracking solutions.

Only the best issue tracking software can provide the full range of capabilities needed to keep tabs on problems, complaints and important tasks from start to finish. Using preconfigured criteria, auto-assignment tools ensure that every issue is sent to the right employee. Escalation workflows check that issues have either been addressed or flagged with the appropriate supervisor for further review. Documentation tools create a comprehensive paper trail in the event of an external audit or simply to gain more insight into past resolved issues.

Project management software certainly has its place, but it shouldn't be saddled with issue tracking responsibilities. Implement a dedicated issue tracking system, and you'll agree it's worth the price of admission.

Topics: Issue Tracking

Sarah Spangler

Written by Sarah Spangler